The Charlestown Historical Society lecture on April 16 will feature the Charlestown Prison. One of the many topics disccussed will be the use of the electric chair.
The Governor signed Legislation on April 14, 1898 for electricity to replace hanging as the method of putting condemned criminals to death in Massachusetts. The dynamo, the electric chair building and the chair were built by prisoners for $15,500, which was $5,000 under budget. While ready for use in 1899, it was not used until 1901 for Luigi Storti. From 1901 until 1947 the electric chair was used 65 times. The most famous executions were in 1927 when Sacco, Vanzetti and Mederios were electrocuted. They were accused of killing the paymaster and his assistant at the Slater & Morrill Shoe Co. in South Braintree. Many books have be written about this crime as the court was accused of prejudice against foreigners and anarchistics. Seven appeals for a new trial were rejected. Mederios confessed to being in the getaway car, but said Saco and Vanzetti were not part of the robbery or murders. Learn more about the electric chair and the Charlestown Prison on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum community room. This event is sponsored by the Charlestown Historical society.