An examination of this brutal form of mob justice, in which angry citizens assume the role of judge, jury and executioner.
Though it’s unusual for a woman to be sentenced to death and even more unusual for execution to be carried out on a woman, it does happen. Fifteen women who have been sentenced to death and executed in the United States, from 1955 to 2010.
Halloween can be a great time for families to dress up in costumes, enjoy each other’s company and eat some sweets. For Houston-area man Ronald Clark O’Bryan, it was the perfect opportunity to kill his son for insurance money.
William Kemmler, having been convicted of drunkenly killing his girlfriend with an ax, was sentenced on May 13, 1889, to become the first person to die in the electric chair. After attempts to thwart the execution on the basis of it being “cruel and unusual punishment” were defeated, Kemmler was executed under what the New York Times called “revolting circumstances.”
On May 7, 1896, serial killer H.H. Holmes was hanged. Even at the noose, he changed his story stating that he only killed two people although he’d previously confessed to 27. The trapdoor under his feet opened at 10:13 a.m. and H.H. Holmes met his end.
The state of Ohio bid good riddance yesterday to Steven Smith, who was executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Lucasville. Smith was convicted of killing his live-in girlfriend’s daughter, 6-month-old Autumn Carter, while he was raping her.
Here at Crime Library, we’ve been collecting the final words of death row prisoners since the beginning. Many proclaim their innocence, some apologize to their victims, others pray and a few just wish for their favorite team to win the big game. Convicted killer Richard Cobb, however, surprised everyone with what he said when the lethal cocktail began coursing through his veins last Thursday.
In January 1977, Gary Gilmore became the first person executed in America since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. His desire to die brought him significant attention and earned him a place in pop culture history.
For those of you who have wondered how the more modern electric chair works and how it is used to execute prisoners. While watching this video bear in mind that though lethal injection has been the default method of execution in Virginia since 1994, inmates may still opt for execution via the electric chair — and some do.
It’s not pretty, that’s for sure. In 1999 convicted murderer Allen Lee Davis became the first and last inmate to be executed in Florida’s brand new electric chair, intended to replace the notoriously malfunctioning “Old Sparky.” Warning: This post contains disturbing photographs.