Murder Incorporated

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Electric Chair at Sing Sing

On June 4, 1888, NY Gov. Daniel B. Hill signed a bill authorizing the use of the electric chair. Electrocution was considered a more humane method of execution than hanging. Thus "the chair" replaced "the rope."

The hangings had been carried out in the respective counties with relevant jurisdiction in the particular cases. But given the specialized nature of the equipment involved in electrocution, executions by electricity were carried out only at state prisons: first at three -- Auburn, Sing Sing and Dannemora -- but later only at Sing Sing.

William Kemmler, the drunken axe-murder of his girlfriend, was the first to be executed by electrocution in NYS. That was August 6 1890 at Auburn. There were 54 other electrocutions at Auburn prison, the last taking palce May 1, 1916 -- Charles Sprague.

Sing Sing's chair was first put to use on July 7, 1891, when it executed 5 men for unconnected murders -- first Harris Alonzo Smiler, and then Shibaya Jugiro, James Slocum, Joseph Wood, and Martin Loppy. Its last execution -- also NYS' last execution -- took place August 15, 1963: Eddie Lee Mays. A total 614 men and women were executed by electric chair at Sing Sing.

Louis Capone, Lepke Buchalter, Mendy Weiss died in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison on the night of Saturday, 4 March 1944. Harry Strauss, Frank Abbandando, and Harry Maione were also electrocuted in Sing Sing.


  • That's pretty interesting. What inspired you to make a blog about "tough" jews?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:24 AM  

  • Knock off the comment spamming.

    By Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka, at 9:15 AM  

  • Now that's some fetish you've got there.


    By Blogger Baal Habos, at 8:19 PM  

  • I just read the most fascinating book about Sing-Sing. It was written by a journalist nameed Ted Conover--who became a guard at the prison just to write a book about it. He had one chapter about the history of the chair at Sing Sing. Did you know that the first man whose responsibility it was to supervise the executions went mad and eventually killed himself. His successor also went mad(with out the unfortunate suicide.) You should check out the book, titled "New Jack" its really edgy and shows a startling incite into the heart of the American penal(hehe penal) system.

    By Blogger null, at 9:18 PM  

  • Note. The Governor of New York at that time was David B. Hill not Daniel B. Hill. Daniel B. Hill was an attorney in Albany, NY I don't know if they are related. You should correct your blog. Cheers.

    By Blogger Calix Books, at 12:25 PM  

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