old sparky the electric chair and the history of the death penalty

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Old Sparky

Author : Anthony Galvin
ISBN : 9781510711358
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 80 MB
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A shocking exploration of America’s preferred method of capital punishment. In early 2013, Robert Gleason became the latest victim of the electric chair, a peculiarly American execution method. Shouting Póg mo thóin (“Kiss my ass” in Gaelic), he grinned as electricity shot through his system. When the current was switched off, his body slumped against the leather restraints, and Gleeson, who had strangled two fellow inmates to ensure his execution was not postponed, was dead. The execution had gone flawlessly—not a guaranteed result with the electric chair, which has gone horrifically wrong on many occasions. Old Sparky covers the history of capital punishment in America and the “current wars” between Edison and Westinghouse that led to the development of the electric chair. It examines how the electric chair became the most popular method of execution in America before being superseded by lethal injection. Famous executions are explored, alongside quirky last meals and poignant last words. The death penalty remains a hot topic of debate in America, and Old Sparky does not shy away from that controversy. Executions have gone spectacularly wrong, with convicts being set alight or needing up to five jolts of electricity before dying. There have been terrible miscarriages of justice, and the death penalty has not been applied even-handedly. Historically, African Americans, the mentally challenged, and poor defendants have been likely to get the chair, an anomaly which led the Supreme Court to briefly suspend the death penalty. Since the resumption of capital punishment in 1976, Texas alone has executed more than five hundred prisoners, and death row is full. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

The Palgrave Handbook Of Prison Tourism

Author : Jacqueline Z. Wilson
ISBN : 9781137561350
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56. 37 MB
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This extensive Handbook addresses a range of contemporary issues related to Prison Tourism across the world. It is divided into seven sections: Ethics, Human Rights and Penal Spectatorship; Carceral Retasking, Curation and Commodification of Punishment; Meanings of Prison Life and Representations of Punishment in Tourism Sites; Death and Torture in Prison Museums; Colonialism, Relics of Empire and Prison Museums; Tourism and Operational Prisons; and Visitor Consumption and Experiences of Prison Tourism. The Handbook explores global debates within the field of Prison Tourism inquiry; spanning a diverse range of topics from political imprisonment and persecution in Taiwan to interpretive programming in Alcatraz, and the representation of incarcerated Indigenous peoples to prison graffiti. This Handbook is the first to present a thorough examination of Prison Tourism that is truly global in scope. With contributions from both well-renowned scholars and up-and-coming researchers in the field, from a wide variety of disciplines, the Handbook comprises an international collection at the cutting edge of Prison Tourism studies. Students and teachers from disciplines ranging from Criminology to Cultural Studies will find the text invaluable as the definitive work in the field of Prison Tourism.

Hidden Treasures

Author : Harriet Baskas
ISBN : 9781493001613
Genre : Travel
File Size : 34. 32 MB
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While there are more than 15,000 museums in our country, visitors get to see only about five percent of any institution’s collections. Most museums simply don’t have room to display everything they’ve got. However, there are a wide variety of surprising and intriguing reasons that, for example, the Smithsonian Institution doesn’t display its collection of condoms, Florida's Lightner Museum locks up all but one of its shrunken heads, and a world-class stash of Japanese erotica (shunga) art was kept in the Honolulu Museum of Art's storage until only recently. Each item or collection included in this volume is described and placed in context with stories and interviews that explore the historical, social, cultural, political, environmental, or other circumstances that led to keeping that object or group of objects out of public view--the ultimate museum buff's voyeuristic experience. Color photographs of the artifacts are included.

The Electric Chair

Author : Craig Brandon
ISBN : 9780786451012
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39. 55 MB
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This book provides a history of the electric chair and analyzes its features, its development, and the manner of its use. Chapters cover the early conceptual stages as a humane alternative to hanging, and the rivalry between Edison and Westinghouse that was one of the main forces in the chair’s adoption as a mode of execution. Also presented are an account of the terrible first execution and a number of the subsequent gruesome employments of the chair. The text explores the changing attitudes toward the chair as state after state replaced it with lethal injection.

Have A Seat Please

Author : Don Reid
ISBN : IND:30000081096574
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 9 MB
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"Don Reid," a cub reporter once wrote admiringly, "can see as much humanity in the messy murder of a shady lady as the coronation of a queen . . . ." Reid was a strong but gentle man, wise and compassionate, and his discerning eyes observed all the degradation and nobility mankind is heir to in his thirty-five years of covering the Texas prison system for the Huntsville Item and the Associated Press. For many years he was publisher of the Item and later in his life spent much of his time writing and making public speeches. Reid, who died in 1981, was survived by his widow, Frances. The late John Gurwell, who assisted Reid with the book, was a Houston writer whose daughter Kathy supported the reprinting of this book. "When Don Reid published Eyewitness in 1973, the chronicle of his conversion from a supporter of the death penalty to an ardent opponent, the book was an immediate sensation. Perhaps never before in the history of the American penal system has a man witnessed more electrocutions than Reid, who as Associated Press and Huntsville Item representative watched 189 men die in ‘Old Sparky,' as the electric chair in the Texas Department of Corrections' death chamber was not so affectionately called. This book is a powerful personal account of Reid's conversations with many of the very men he later watched receive the eighteen hundred volts of electricity from generators reserved for electrocutions and his later, almost evangelical efforts to defend the men on Death Row from a similar fate.

Truth Is A Strange Fruit

Author : David Beresford
ISBN : 9781770099029
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 56. 95 MB
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Twice voted Britain's top foreign correspondent, David Beresford has produced a 'word picture' of South Africa's Apartheid War. Borrowing from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and plundering his own journalism, he gives his 'truth' of the apartheid years. He has woven through the book the love letters of John Harris - the 'station bomber', awaiting execution on Pretoria's death row. In combination, these paint an often harrowing and heart-breaking, but brilliant picture of South Africa. -- Cover, p. [4]

The Big Book Of West Virginia Ghost Stories

Author : Rosemary Ellen Guiley
ISBN : 9780811758598
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 31. 26 MB
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More than 100 of the best, most thrilling accounts of hauntings from the Mountain State from one of the nation's leading experts.

The International Sourcebook On Capital Punishment

Author :
ISBN : UOM:39015025333389
Genre : Capital punishment
File Size : 64. 4 MB
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In This Timeless Time

Author : Bruce Jackson
ISBN : 9780807882641
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50. 13 MB
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In this stark and powerful book, Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian explore life on Death Row in Texas and in other states, as well as the convoluted and arbitrary judicial processes that populate all Death Rows. They document the capriciousness of capital punishment and capture the day-to-day experiences of Death Row inmates in the official "nonperiod" between sentencing and execution. In the first section, "Pictures," ninety-two photographs taken during their fieldwork for the book and documentary film Death Row illustrate life on cell block J in Ellis Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections. The second section, "Words," further reveals the world of Death Row prisoners and offers an unflinching commentary on the judicial system and the fates of the men they met on the Row. The third section, "Working," addresses profound moral and ethical issues the authors have encountered throughout their careers documenting the Row. Included is a DVD of Jackson and Christian's 1979 documentary film, Death Row.

Loyola Journal Of Public Interest Law

Author :
ISBN : UCAL:B5103136
Genre :
File Size : 89. 57 MB
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