EXECUTION OF THE DAY
According to Oleg Loginov.
The «honor» of becoming the first person in the world to be electrocuted fell to William Kemmler, who was sentenced to death for the brutal murder of his mistress. The lawyers tried to convince the judges that electrocution was a cruel and inhumane punishment, but they decided to find out if this was the case and identified Kemmler as a pioneer.
Kemmler, a trader from Buffalo, was one of the breed of people that abound in Russia. He was a drunkard, and when drunk he became jealous and angry. After taking whiskey, William began to be tormented by suspicions that his mistress was going to run away with another man. Somehow, after a night of heavy drinking, these suspicions overcame him so much that he, on the principle of «so don’t get you to anyone,» took an axe and hacked her down. After that, drunken remorse washed over him. He went to the neighbors and told them:
— I killed her. I had to do it. I did it intentionally. I’ll take the rope for it.
However, the state freed him from the rope in order to try the effect of electricity on him.
On the morning of August 6, 1890, a historic event took place. William Kemmler was put on a wooden chair in New York’s Auburn prison and his arms and legs were fixed. The convict was asked if he wanted to say anything before he died. And Kemmler said:
— Well, gentlemen, I wish you good luck in this world. I think I’m going to a good place, and the newspapers have written too much that doesn’t exist.»
Executioner Edwin Davis, who by law was now called the «electrician of the state,» was pretty worried about the responsibility of the moment. Kemmler even made a remark to him:
— God, warden, be calm. Do not rush.
Soon the preparations were completed. An electrode with a washcloth was attached to the convict’s head. Another electrode was passed to the spine to open an unobstructed path to the flow of current through the body. The electrodes were moistened with saline solution. A black hood was pulled over Kemmler’s head. Edwin Davis pulled the power switch.
The current was applied for 17 seconds. Cats and dogs had enough time to die. But Kemmler survived the «electric attack». However, it did not pass without a trace, the brutally burned Kemmler moaned loudly, which caused sympathy for his suffering. The electrician of the Davis state clearly did not expect that the convict would remain alive, and was slightly confused. But I decided to finish what I started. He turned on the switch again and increased the voltage to 2 thousand volts.
Execution of Kemmler in the image of an eyewitness
This time the current has done its job. Kemmler convulsed, his body began to smoke, a terrible smell of burnt flesh spread through the room. Those present at the execution from this spectacle began to faint. 70 seconds of repeatedly turning on the electric chair seemed like an eternity to many. But, finally, the current was turned off, the doctors pronounced the convict dead. The goal was achieved.
The next day, opinions regarding the subsequent use of the electric chair were divided. Such an authoritative publication as the New York Times called Kemmler’s execution «a terrible sight, much worse than hanging.» However, representatives of the prison administration liked the new method more than hanging, and this predetermined the decision to continue using the electric chair.
Photo rating on the topic «Executions on the electric chair»
*Texts from Wikipedia and other Internet resources were used.
*Translated using an electronic dictionary. The original text in Russian and much more on the criminal topic can be selected on the main page of the site — http://crimerecords.info/