Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Charles T. Justice - The Man who Helped His own Execution

Charles Justice never knew that a brainwave he had, would be put to use on himself some years after.  It was 1912 and he was serving a prison sentence.  He was given a task of cleaning up the prison's execution cell and polishing up the electric chair.  Whilst polishing it, he was looking at the wrist straps and thought he could improve the electrocution with some alterations.  He passed on his idea to the Warden.  When a condemned man was being electrocuted, his wrists would strain against the straps and so his whole body would have contact except his wrists, prolonging his agony.  Justice`s idea was to replace the wrist straps with a malleable metal strap bent over and down across his wrists.  When he strained his wrists would still have contact the charge coursing through the metal straps, and thus, still receiving all the charge.  His idea was adopted and proved to be a success.

    A couple of years later, Justice was released but his criminal ways never deserted him and he found himself in serious trouble.  He faced a charge of murder in 1920, and was convicted and sentenced to death.  He now faced execution in the very chair he used to polish and had made a suggestion to improve it`s performance.  He found out the hard way just how effective his suggestion was.  He had to be dragged to the chair and strapped in.  His surname was very fitting in relation to the victim but Charles T. Justice would never have agreed.