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Electric Chair

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NEWS
December 4, 1987 | By Douglas A. Campbell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Bucks County woman whose former husband is on Pennsylvania's death row has been turned down in her bid to march in a local Christmas parade carrying a mock electric chair. Brenda L. Williams, 32, will still march from Perkasie to her hometown of Sellersville with her son, Kenneth J. Williams Jr., 10. And they will hand out pamphlets they hope will convince paradegoers that Kenneth Sr., the boy's father, is not a murderer. But they have bowed to parade organizers, who shuddered at the thought of a float sharing the route with Santa and carrying a six-foot-high model in wood and sheet metal of Pennsylvania's electric chair.
NEWS
September 9, 1987 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Former Upper Merion High School principal Jay C. Smith was sentenced yesterday to die in the electric chair for the slayings of schoolteacher Susan Reinert and her two children. Dauphin County Senior Judge William Lipsitt imposed the three death sentences as Smith stood impassively before the bench, his hands folded in front of him, his attorney standing by his side in the packed courtroom. Before sentencing, Smith delivered an impassioned 40-minute plea in which he once again denied his guilt in the 1979 murders of Reinert; her daughter, Karen, 11, and her son, Michael, 10. "There is no Reinert blood on my hands," Smith said.
NEWS
April 23, 1990 | By Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writer Gloria Campisi contributed to this report
The prosecution planned to seek the death sentence today for a reputed founder of the Junior Black Mafia convicted of the execution-style shooting of an alleged street corner drug dealer in a dispute over drug turf. The penalty phase of the trial of Leonard "Bazil" Patterson, 29, of Florence Avenue near 56th Street, convicted Saturday of first-degree murder, follows the sentencing of two other reputed JBM members to life terms for an unrelated killing. Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen said Patterson's victim, John Wesley Tate, 25, had competed with a drug dealer working under Patterson 34th and Wallace streets.
NEWS
November 30, 1990 | By Robert Zausner, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Gov. Casey yesterday signed into law a dozen bills passed by the General Assembly toward the conclusion of its 1989-90 session, including a measure replacing the electric chair with lethal injection as the means of execution in the state. Benjamin Livingood, a spokesman for the state Corrections Department, said the state's electric chair, kept at the state prison in Rockview and used for 350 executions between 1915 and 1962, would be dismantled. There has not been an execution in Pennsylvania since 1962.
NEWS
February 9, 1990 | By Kurt Heine, Daily News Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court, in three opinions handed down yesterday, snubbed the appeals of three notorious murderers, saying each had earned the electric chair. The high court's action, the likely end of Pennsylvania court review of the cases, means the death row dwellers now get to plead their cases in the federal courts and, if they're lucky, in the U.S. Supreme Court. Those appeals are likely to take years, even if the governor signs their death warrants and the state starts putting its electric chair to use for the first time since 1962.
NEWS
February 21, 1990 | By Vanessa Williams, Inquirer Staff Writer
A wide grin grew across Michael Gaynor's face when a Common Pleas Court jury announced yesterday that he and a codefendant would be spared the electric chair and instead would spend the rest of their lives in prison for the 1988 murder of 5-year-old Marcus Yates. "They gave me life! They gave me life!" Gaynor, 23, said as he turned and looked at his mother and aunt, who were sitting in the courtroom. Donovan Grant, 22, the man with whom Gaynor had a shootout in a Southwest Philadelphia candy store that Marcus and 10 other children were visiting, showed little reaction to the sentence, which was handed down about 1 1/2 hours after the jury began deliberations at 1 p.m. On Monday, the jury found Grant and Gaynor guilty of first-degree murder in Marcus' death.
NEWS
January 16, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
DECADES AGO - before houses sprang up between his block of 12th Street and Broad Street - Wes Hatton used the open space in his North Philadelphia neighborhood to teach his daughter and her friend Kim Jones how to ride bikes. Hatton, who has lived on 12th Street near Jefferson for 55 years, knew Jones all her life. He can't grasp the fact that someone killed her Tuesday morning, firing a single bullet into the back of her skull just steps from Hatton's and Jones' side-by-side rowhouses.
NEWS
January 24, 1989 | Daily News Wire Services
Serial killer Ted Bundy, America's most notorious death row inmate, died in Florida's electric chair today after confessing to the murders of nearly two dozen young women in several Western states, witnesses said. The 42-year-old law school dropout had defied the state of Florida for 11 years, eluding the electric chair and exuding wit and charm as he maneuvered his way through the legal system. But when the state finally cornered him in the death chamber for the murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, a frightened Bundy went to his death humbly.
NEWS
July 10, 1995 | Daily News Wire Services
They stood outside the courthouse last fall cursing her name, a despondent, unruly crowd shouting, "Baby murderer!" after Susan Smith confessed to drowning her two young sons. Ten months later, with jury selection for Smith's trial set to begin today, many residents have set aside for now trying to understand why a mother would murder her children. Instead, they grapple with another, equally haunting question: Are they capable of sentencing one of their own - a 23-year-old daughter of the community - to the electric chair?
NEWS
August 10, 1999 | By Richard Lezin Jones, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The condemned man wore a hood. His executioner was shielded from view. So it was impossible for anyone present to know precisely when the first arc of electricity pulsed through the body of Allen Lee Davis - small-time burglar, triple murderer, and on a Thursday last month, the 240th inmate this century to be executed by the State of Florida. But for those who watched Davis die, what happened next is beyond dispute. Blood gushed from his head, spilled over his chin strap and pooled on his chest.
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NEWS
January 16, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
DECADES AGO - before houses sprang up between his block of 12th Street and Broad Street - Wes Hatton used the open space in his North Philadelphia neighborhood to teach his daughter and her friend Kim Jones how to ride bikes. Hatton, who has lived on 12th Street near Jefferson for 55 years, knew Jones all her life. He can't grasp the fact that someone killed her Tuesday morning, firing a single bullet into the back of her skull just steps from Hatton's and Jones' side-by-side rowhouses.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG To most folks, a chair may be no more than a place to park your bum. For others, they are objects of art and craftsmanship, symbols of technological innovation, or products that sustained a region's economy. Pennsylvania boasts a rich heritage of chair-making, from the fine cabinetry of early Philadelphia furniture makers to the mass production of chairs in Union City, near Erie, a community once known as the "Chair Center of the World," and the Mad Men -era industrial design of modern furniture makers.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
JARRATT, VA. - A man who strangled his prison cell mate and made good on a vow to continue killing if he wasn't executed has been put to death in Virginia's electric chair. Robert Gleason Jr. was pronounced dead by authorities at 9:08 p.m. Wednesday at the Greensville Correctional Center. The 42-year-old inmate was the first executed in the U.S. this year and the first to choose to die by electrocution since 2010. In Virginia and nine other states, inmates can choose between electrocution and lethal injection.
NEWS
January 6, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Of all the great conductors of the 20th century, Sir Georg Solti was the one who never quite arrived in Valhalla. Though he lived and conducted longer than two of his starrier contemporaries, Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan, Solti (1912-1997) achieved only temporary immortality for the Wagner Ring cycle he recorded between 1958 and 1965, which is periodically named one of the great classical recordings of all time. Solti was a Grammy Award magnet, winning 32, an all-time, still-unrivaled record for any artist, classical or popular.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2012 | By Jonathan Valania
FOR THE INQUIRER It is a well-known fact that only two things will survive the coming apocalypse: cockroaches and Keith Richards. A betting man would add ZZ Top to the list. After 40 years of chrome, smoke, and BBQ'd blooze licks, their party-time ubiquity shows no signs of diminishing. Wherever there are men on scaffolding, they will be there. Wherever Harley meets Davidson, they will be there. Wherever stripper meets pole, they will be there. Wherever a Don't Mess With Texas sticker meets a mud-caked pickup truck bumper, they will be there.
SPORTS
July 25, 2012 | By Mike Kern, Daily News Staff Writer
SO, WHAT NOW? No, the NCAA didn't send Penn State's football program to the electric chair. But it came dangerously close. Some people will say the NCAA went too far. Others may contend it didn't go far enough. Opinions don't really matter anymore. The penalties, very significant ones, have been handed down. Now it is up to Penn State and new coach Bill O'Brien to deal with them as best they know how. He obviously understood coming in that there would be "tough times ahead.
NEWS
September 1, 2010 | By STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225
JAMES STOKES often wore Tarzan, Superman and "Star Trek" costumes - and not on Halloween, according to neighbors on his Southwest Philadelphia block. Stokes, 37, also liked wigs - from Jheri curls to Afros - and once was seen at a local water-ice stand with a lollipop and a sign around his neck that read: "Single man looking for a woman," several neighbors said. But shortly after midnight Monday, Stokes' eccentric behavior turned deadly when he repeatedly stabbed Stephanie Clory, a 45-year-old mother of three, and dragged her mutilated body out to the sidewalk, police said.
NEWS
July 16, 2010
RE SHERYL L. Axelrod's July 14 letter on the tugboat crew member who took the Fifth ( "The Duck-Boat News that Wasn't Fit to Print" ): Miss Axelrod, I find your opinion tasteless, disrespectful and proof that defense attorneys can sometimes be just like the folks they represent. I'm of Hungarian descent, but that has no bearing on the loss of the two innocent victims in the Ride the Ducks tragedy. But instead of offering condolences for these two foreign visitors who lost their lives without warning, you insist on pointing out that someone who may have been involved in their deaths has rights.
SPORTS
June 14, 2010
BOSTON - It's getting to that part of the movie where the cavalry charges in from the other side of the ridge to save the day. Or the hero rescues the damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks just before the locomotive arrives. Or the governor grants clemency moments before the switch is flipped on the electric chair. It's getting to be that part of the Phillies' season, too, come to think of it. As they have floundered about, it's easy to overlook that a midseason malaise has been the norm.
NEWS
February 19, 2010
THE 150 miscreants, products of our iniquitous public-school system, who rampaged and assaulted people in the fifth-largest city in the U.S. are a good indicator of how far some parents have become disconnected from their offspring, how the school system is creating menaces to society and an indication of what's yet to come. I wrote after the last outrageous outburst by miscreant teens that parents of these despicable juveniles should also be charged with crimes that their offspring commit.
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