The failed petition of John Gordon for a reprieve, 1845.
John Gordon (died February 14, 1845) was the last person executed by Rhode Island. In 1844, Gordon was tried and convicted for the December 31, 1843 beating murder of Amasa Sprague, a Cranston textile factory owner. The murder occurred within the village of Knightsville. John Gordon was executed by hanging in the state jail in Providence. Seven years after Gordon's execution, Rhode Island abolished the death penalty. Although it was reintroduced in 1872, no executions took place before capital punishment was abolished again by the state in 1984. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee pardoned Gordon on June 29, 2011, following passage of legislation by the state's General Assembly urging such action. Chafee signed the proclamation of pardon at the Old State House, where Gordon's trial took place more than 150 years prior.See also:
General Assembly - Prisoner/Judicial Petitions, Committee on, 1829-1862General Assembly - Petitions Failed / Withdrawn, 1811-1874 General Assembly - Petitions Received, 1725-1890