Electric Chair First Used: U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for Aug. 6

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ — Following is the daily “Profile America” feature for Aug. 6 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America — Sunday, Aug. 6. The electric chair was used for the first time on this day in 1890, in Auburn, N.Y., to carry out a death sentence. William Kemmler of Buffalo was the first person to be electrocuted, having been convicted of the murder of his common law wife the year before. This first attempt did not go well, and George Westinghouse Jr. called it a “brutal affair.” Now, most states have selected other more humane methods to carry out such sentences, primarily lethal injections. Since 1930, a total of 4,803 prisoners have been executed under civil authority, 42 of them women. Across the country, there are some 3,400 prisoners under sentence of death. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at http://www.census.gov.


Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments ready to air on a monthly CD or on Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the “Newsroom” button). For further information, contact Rick Reed at 301-763-2812, fax at 301-457-3670, or e-mail at rreed@census.gov .


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