In 1923, the Texas Legislature ended hanging as the state’s method of execution, bringing Texas into civilized line with most other states. No longer would death sentences be carried out by hanging at the county seat where the crime occurred. Now, the state would electrocute its capital criminals.
Executed Today remarks:
“Denouncing countyseat [sic] executions as a barbaric relic of the frontier past, L.K. Irwin launched a one-man campaign to bring Texas in tune with the times. The state legislator converted many to his cause with the argument that public hangings harmed society almost as much as the condemned.
“Irwin insisted executions usually degenerated into bloodthirsty carnivals that did nothing to instill in spectators a respect for the law. All too often untrained local officials made the spectacle even more gruesome, when the drop failed to snap the victim’s neck. On those occasions, he slowly strangled in full view of females and impressionable children.
“In the 1923 session of the Lone Star legislature, Irwin introduced the Electric Chair Bill. In addition to doing away with the gallows, the proposal relieved county sheriffs of the responsibility of the carrying out death sentences.Future executions would be held behind closed-doors inside the Texas Department of Corrections.”
In all that is a good title for a book: “In Full View of Females and Impressionable Children.” Maybe the book would be about politics.