Legal Executions in Tennessee

A Comprehensive Registry, 1782–2009

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About the Book

This complete, chronological registry documents the crimes, trials and deaths of the 524 people who have been legally executed in Tennessee through the end of 2009. Slaves and nine women are among those put to death for such crimes as horse theft, murder and rape. Built on the famous Espy list of United States executions, the book includes 187 previously undocumented cases; it also offers the only compilation of Tennessee’s Civil War executions (both Union and Confederate, a distinction unique to Tennessee). The text includes cultural details such as gallows sermons preached at public hangings held before 1883 and the problems (such as crowd control and denunciations of witnesses by the condemned) that caused Tennessee’s move to quasi-private, and finally private, executions in 1909. It also discusses dramatic changes in Tennessee death penalty law during the 1960–2000 hiatus period and covers the complicated appellate procedures used by the six men executed since 2000, some of whom had been on death row for more than 20 years.

About the Author(s)

Lewis L. Laska is a Nashville attorney and a professor of Business Law in the College of Business at Tennessee State University. His work has appeared in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and the journals of the Nashville Bar and the Tennessee Bar Association.

Bibliographic Details

Lewis L. Laska

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 490
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5975-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6215-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

PERSONS EXECUTED AND THEIR CRIMES
(Listed Chronologically)      7

Notes      421
Index      469

Book Reviews & Awards

“the author has done a good job of documenting his information and presenting the information in a readable format”—ARBA.