James Collett portrait   Save
James Collett portrait
Description: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of James Collett, a 61-year-old farmer. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Collett was found guilty on three counts of first degree murder of his brother-in-law's family (Elmer, Forrest, and Mildred McCoy). Collett was the 243rd individual to be executed via the electric chair in Ohio. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 243, James Collett of Fayette County, Legally Electrocuted April 20th, 1945, for the Murder of The Elmer McCoy Family (3 counts Murder 1st. degree)” 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.
Image ID: AL08297
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); Paint Township (Ohio); Washington Court House (Ohio); Fayette County (Ohio)