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Newspaper Page Text
.DEMAND FOR ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY ON
HEELS OF "LEGAL MURDER" IN VERMONT
Windsor, Vt., Jan. 6. "The
People of Vermont versus the
State of Vermont. Murder.
"That, on or about the fifth day
of January, 1912, the State of
' Vermont did murder, or cause to
bevmurdered, Elroy Kent, a man
of unsound mind. ,
"The People of Vermont
versus the Governor of Vermont.
Complicity in the murder of El
These two forms of indictment
express the feelings of the people-
of Vermont today.
Yesterday afternoon, in the
bleak-jail yard of Windsor, Elroy
Kent, 36 years old, was hanged.
The execution was held in se
cret. Only the sheriff, his depu
ties and the twelve legal witness
es were present. Not the slight
est hint that the hanging was;
about to take place was allowed
to leak out. ' ""
Because Elroy Kent was a
mental delinquent, an idiot, and
ever since the day when a jury of
farmers, in the face of introvert
ible evidence that Kent had been
unable to distinguish right from
wrong since' the days of his child-,
hood, found his guilty of murder
in the first degree, there has been
a storm of protests against what
the people of Vermont do not
hesitate to call legal murder.
But in spite of the protests and
petitions that flooded the gov
ernor's mail, and in face, of the
feeling that swept the country
when, in 1905, Mary M. Rogers
was done to death in this same
bleak jail yard, Elroy Kent was
Kent was 36 years old. When
only 7 .he was arrested and sent
to jail for a minor offense. Since
then he had been in prison or the
state asylum for the insane 30
July 24, 1908, Kent killed Delia
B. Congdon at East Wallingford.
-At his trial physicians testi
fied that he was mentally incom
petent, and, had been so almost
Yet the jury found him guilty,
and the court sentenced him to
He was not a Harry Thaw, rich
and degenerate. He was just a
poor idiot, without money and
with few friends.
Governor Bell refused to heed
the petitions, and yesterday, the
idiot was hanged.
The sheriff refused to give the
details of the execution. But
they have leaked out. They are
unspeakable. They parallel the
horrors that accompanied the
hanging of Mary Rogers in 1905.
The rope with which Mary
Rogers was hanged was too long.
And when the drop was sprung,
the woman's feet touched the
The sheriff and his deputies
climbed upon the scaffold, and
drew up the rope.
Finally she was let down. But
the doctors pronounced her not
dead, and the grisly performance
was gone through again.