9 Bits of Irony


9

Charles Justice

In 1900, Charles Justice was serving time at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. While performing cleaning duties in the death chamber, he thought of a way to improve the restraints on the electric chair. Justice suggested that metal clamps replace the leather straps, allowing the inmate to be secured more firmly and minimizing the problem of burnt flesh.

These changes were made, and Justice was later paroled from prison. In an ironic twist of fate, after his release, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On November 9, 1911, justice was served and the inmate found out firsthand how well those metal clamps worked on the same electric chair he had improved.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen

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