: In 1885, the Ohio Penitentiary became the site of all executions for prisoners on death row; formerly, executions had taken place in the county where the crime was committed. In 1896, the Ohio General Assembly mandated that electrocution replace hanging as the state’s only form of capital punishment. Altogether there were 315 people who were electrocuted at the Ohio Penitentiary, their deaths occurring between 1897 and 1963. This photograph shows 30-year-old Richard Keller, the 200th prisoner in Ohio to be executed in this manner.
Keller’s portrait was displayed in the east annex of the Ohio Penitentiary along with hundreds of other photographs of prisoners who were executed by the state of Ohio. These were housed in the same area of the penitentiary as death row and the execution chamber itself. The caption at the bottom of Keller’s photograph reads: “No. 200, Richard Keller of Hamilton County, Electrocuted July 1st, 1936 for the Murder of Adolph F. Woest at Cincinnati, Ohio.” Woest’s murder occurred during a holdup at his Cincinnati laundry service.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08254 Subjects
: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Electrocution; Death row; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio) Places
: Hamilton County (Ohio); Cincinnati (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Columbus (Ohio)