There has been for more than a quarter of a a century in this State a prejudice against the scaffold and the hangman. They that have yielded to the stern exactions of the law, which demands "a life for a life," have felt an almost insurmountable repugnance to the rope. The bungling of a Sheriffs assistant, the negligent or ignorant adjustment of the noose, have often caused such revolting scenes at public executions, as to fill beholders with horror, and add to that ever increasing number, now close to a majority, who demand the entire abolition of the death penalty as a punishment for crime.
The removal of the scaffold, as a factor in the civilization of our century, has engaged the attention of the New York Medico-Legal Society for many years. The first introduction of the subject before that body, was the paper of the eminent French scientist, Ambrose
BELL C. ELECTRICITY AND THE DEATH PENALTY. Read before the Chicago Medico-Legal Society, March 2, 1889. JAMA. 1889;XII(10):325–332. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400870001001
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