Last Public Execution

Last Public Execution

The United States has a long history of so-called "legal" public executions. The last one was carried out in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1936…

The United States has a long history of so-called "legal" public executions. The last one was carried out in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1936 when Rainey Bethea was hanged after his conviction for the rape and murder of a 70-year-old woman. Hundreds of reporters and photographers -- some from as far away as New York and Chicago -- were sent to Owensboro to cover what was then the country's first hanging conducted by a woman. At least 20,000 people descended on the town to witness the execution. Bethea walked toward the gallows shortly after sunrise and was pronounced dead at around 5:45 a.m. that same day.

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The United States has a long history of so-called "legal" public executions. The last one was carried out in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1936…|
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