: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of 57-year-old Willie Johnson. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Johnson was the 240th individual to be executed via the electric chair in Ohio. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 240 Willie Johnson of Cuyahoga County, Legally Electrocuted March 10th, 1944, for the Murder of Margaret Wilson.”
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.
: AL08294 Subjects
: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Law; Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Capital punishment--Ohio--History; Death Row; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio); Electrocution; Prisons--Ohio Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)