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Hanging an Innocent Man

An innocent man died where you are standing. On Valentine’s Day 1845 John Gordon was hung from a gallows here. This was then the state prison. Gordon had been convicted of murdering a prosperous Yankee. As an Irish immigrant he was looked down upon and the Judge in his case prejudiced the jury against him. It turns out he died for a crime he did not commit. In the 1850’s Rhode Island became the second state to ban capital punishment – a ban that last to this day. In 2012 John Gordon was pardoned officially by the Governor of
Rhode Island.