: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of 17-year-old Louis Vernon Hand, a farm hand from Mercer County. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Hand was convicted of murdering seven-year-old Richard Stover with a hammer in Rockford, Ohio. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 239 Louis Vernon Hand of Mercer County, Legally Electrocuted January 14th, 1944, for the Murder of Richard Stover.” Some records list Richard's last name as Stober.
In 1885 the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, became the location for all executions, which previously took place in the various county seats. In 1896 the Ohio General Assembly mandated that electrocution replace hanging as the form of capital punishment. The Ohio Penitentiary regularly offered tours as well as souvenir photographs and postcards of the building and prisoners on death row.
A total of 315 prisoners, both men and women, were executed in the electric chair known as “Old Sparky” between 1897 and 1963.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08293 Subjects
: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Death row; Electrocution; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio); Prisons--Ohio Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Rockford (Ohio); Mercer County (Ohio)