Death Sentences in Missouri, 1803–2005

A History and Comprehensive Registry of Legal Executions, Pardons, and Commutations


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About the Book

This chronological discussion of the death penalty in Missouri covers those executed from 1803 through 2005. Sources include newspapers, county histories, prison records, Union Army records, pardon papers and appellate court cases.
Chapters discuss such topics as the death penalty offenses of Indians and blacks; death sentences carried out by the military; lynchings; the gas chamber; the executions of rapists, juveniles, and women; pardons and commutations; appellate court reversals; and lethal injection.

About the Author(s)

Harriet C. Frazier, attorney and retired law professor in the Criminal Justice Department at University of Central Missouri, also has a Ph.D. in English. She lives in Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Harriet C. Frazier
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2719-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii
List of Illustrations      xi
Preface      1

1. Indians and Whites, 1803–1864      7
2. Slaves and Free Blacks, 1826–1863      23
3. Union Army Executions, 1861–1865      39
4. Black and White, 1866–1889      56
5. The Nineties and Beyond, 1890–1907      71
6. Reform Attempts and the Continuation of Hangings, 1907–1937      89
7. The Gas Chamber, 1938–1965      104
8. Juveniles, 1838–1993      119
9. Rape, 1891–1964      133
10. Women, 1834–1953      150
11. Pardons and Commutations, 1803–1999      162
12. Appellate Court Reversals, 1818–2005      174
13. Lethal Injection, 1989–2005      186

Appendix 1: Executions of Death Sentences in Missouri, 1803–2005      197
Appendix 2: Pardons and Commutations in Missouri’s Death Sentences, 1803–1999      215
Chapter Notes      223
Bibliography      249
Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A useful work”—ARBA

• “Shines a shocking light on the many different types of people that Missouri has executed”—The Advocate

• “An outstanding and much needed piece of scholarship. I…hope that it is available in all law libraries”— Charles B. Blackmar, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri

• “Authoritative, well-written, one of a kind, a first rate index. Frazier’s book illuminates the forgotten past and the ignored present of Missouri’s death penalty”—Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

• “A thorough investigative work”—Death Penalty Information Center