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October 17, 1891

LETTER FROM NEW YORK.

JAMA. 1891;XVII(16):611-612. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410940039012

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Abstract

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)  In the official report of Drs. C. F. MacDonald and Samuel S. Ward, the physicians appointed to supervise the four electrical executions at Sing Sing Prison in July last, which has just been made public by the Superintendent of State Prisons, many points of interest are to be found. In the killing of Slocum, the first man executed, a pressure of 1,458 volts, through electrodes in contact with forehead, temples and left leg, was applied continuously for twenty-seven seconds. When the current was broken, an examination showed that the pulse was beating strongly, and one or two minutes later, a noisy and regular respiration was established. The same pressure was again applied for twenty-six and one-fourth seconds, at the end of which time life was completely extinct.In the case of the next man executed, Smiler, a pressure of 1,485 volts was applied three times for

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