: This photograph from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus is of 29-year-old Navy sailor Robert Gemmell. His formal attire suggests that the photograph was taken during his trial or sentencing. Gemmell, convicted of killing a 25-year-old woman in Columbus, was the 292nd individual to be executed via the electric chair in Ohio. The caption at the bottom reads: “No. 292 Robert Gemmell Franklin County, Ohio, Legally Electro-cuted, July 10, 1953, for the Murder of Laura Grimshaw.”
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.
: AL08344 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; Death row Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)