Petitions Against (and for) Capital Punishment

Petitions for the Abolition of Capital Punishment
A Letter written to Friend Garrison, from J. M.Spear, includes a listing of 67 towns in Massachusetts from which 5119 people have sent signed petitions to the state Legislature, urging the abolition of capital punishment. “A hope is indulged that this barbarous practice of straangling our brothers will soon be abolished in this Commonwealth”.. (Liberator, April 20, 1849, pg 3)

(Liberator, May 4, 1849, pg 3) Washington Goode — Spear writes to Garrison. Tells of a second meeting before the Executive of the State, urging against the execution of Washington Goode. Wendell Phillips spoke eloquently for the cause… “But I am sorry to be obliged to say, that our labors were unavailing,… on the morning of the 25th of May Goode is to die by the hand of man.”  There is then a list of towns from which petitioners against the execution number 24,522 …”A petition favoring execution is presented, from 9 men, named, from Woburn. The Executive is with the 9….. ‘God save the commonwealth of Mass.’ ” !

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