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January 28, 1888


JAMA. 1888;X(4):114-115. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400300018004

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It is now about a year since a State Commission was appointed in New York, to investigate and report on the most humane and practical method of carrying into effect the sentence of death. That Commission, of which Mr. Elbridge T. Gerry, President of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, was chairman, has completed its work and has just presented to the State Legislature its report, a pamphlet of almost a hundred pages, that bears witness to the commendable zeal and industry of the Commissioners. Of the methods now in use among civilized peoples for executing criminals not one can be called humane and practical. The principal devices for this purpose are the guillotine, the garrote, and the gallows. The first two are practical but not humane, while the gallows is neither humane nor practical.

Inasmuch as it has been pretty thoroughly shown by experiment

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