« PreviousContinue »
June 8, 1899. Frank Marceau. Sentenced November 23, 1896; county, St. Lawrence; crime, burglary, third degree; term, five years; prison, Clinton.
Commuted to two years, six months and fifteen days, actual time, on condition that forever hereafter he abstain from the use of intoxicating liquor.
Marceau and two companions stole a keg of beer from a freight car. The sentence seems much too severe for the offense. The district attorney recommends a commutation on the above condition.
June 8, 1899. Mahlon Golden. Sentenced July 9, 1897; county, Chemung; crime, grand larceny, second degree; term, five years and six months; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to one year, ten months and twenty-nine days, actual time.
The prisoner sold a horse and buggy which he had hired from the keeper of a livery stable. He is weak mentally, and although not insane, is practically so when intoxicated; and it was while in that condition that he committed the crime. But for this failing, he is a man of good character, and the judge and the district attorney favor a commutation on condition that he abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors. The commutation is granted on that condition.
June 8, 1899. Richard H. Thomas. Sentenced October 12, 1897; county, Erie; crime, grand larceny, second degree; term, five years; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to one year, seven months and twenty-three days, actual time.
Thomas was convicted of stealing a bicycle, and was given the full penalty of imprisonment for five years, the judge having been informed that he had committed a number of similar crimes. This information appears to have been in
correct, and the judge and the district attorney, therefore, recommend a reduction of the sentence and the prisoner's release.
June 8, 1899. John Howard. Sentenced August 17, 1894; county, New York; crime, sodomy; term, nine years and five months; prison, Sing Sing.
Commuted to four years, nine months and twenty-four days, actual time.
The commutation is granted on the recommendation of the judge and the district attorney. Howard has served all but about a year of his term, and has rendered services which fairly entitle him to more than the usual rebate for good conduct.
June 8, 1899. Harriet A. Merrihew. Sentenced October 4, 1880; county, Lewis; crime, murder, second degree; term, life; prison, Onondaga County Penitentiary; transferred to State Prison for Women, Auburn.
Commuted to eighteen years, eight months and five days actual time.
The prisoner was convicted in October, 1880, of killing her husband's brother, David H. Merrihew, by means of poison. The petition for her pardon, filed in 1883, signed by the county judge, the district attorney, the sheriff, and many other citizens of Lewis county, including seven of the convicting jury, represents her to have been a person of weak intellect, and alleges that if guilty at all she acted under the influence and as the agent of another who was the real instigator of the crime. Judge Merwin, who presided at the trial, in a letter dated June 11, 1883, said: “The case made against Mrs. Merrihew was not a strong one. In my opinion, her punishment should be commuted, but I am not prepared to say that she has now served long enough. The verdict, I presume, was somewhat of a compromise."
The prisoner began serving her term in the Onondaga County Penitentiary, where she remained until June, 1893, when she was transferred to the State Prison for Women. From the statements filed by the officers of both institutions, it appears that her conduct during the whole term of her imprisonment has been exceedingly meritorious, and that her services have been of great value, especially in nursing the sick; and the officers very earnestly recommend that clemency be exercised in her behalf.
With the commutation allowed for good conduct in cases of imprisonment for terms less than life, she has now served a term of more than thirty years.
July 27, 1899. George H. Lincoln. Sentenced April 15, 1898; county, New York; crime, manslaughter, first degree; term, five years and nine months; prison, Sing Sing.
Commuted to one year, three months and eleven days, actual time.
Granted on account of doubt as to the prisoner's guilt. His contention on the trial was that the death was accidental and that he was in no way responsible for it; a contention which seems to be well supported by all the circumstances. The district attorney writes that, upon the whole case, the question was an extremely close one, and he unites with the judge and eight of the jurors in commending the case as a proper one for Executive clemency. .
October 17, 1899. Fred W. Lidi. Sentenced June 1, 1896; county, Cayuga; crime, assault, first degree; term, six years ; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to three years, four months and seventeen days, actual time.
A verdict of assault in the second degree would have been a juster disposition of the case, and in that view the punishment already inflicted has been ample. The judge, the district attorney and other leading citizens of Auburn ask that the remainder of the sentence be remitted.
October 17, 1899. Theodore Coburn. Sentenced September 10, 1898; county, Steuben; crime, burglary, third degree; term, two years; prison, Monroe County Penitentiary.
Commuted to one year, one month and seven days, actual time.
Granted on the recommendation of the district attorney and on the petition of the complainant and many other citizens of Corning, where Coburn lived. This was his first offense. He confessed his crime, and after his sentence was of inuch assistance to the district attorney in bringing about the conviction of his confederate.
October 30, 1899. Thomas Dunn. Sentenced December 2, 1895; county, Wyoming; crime, burglary, third degree, and grand larceny, second degree; term, eight years; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to three years, ten months and twenty-six days, actual time.
October 30, 1899. Frederick W. Clarke. Sentenced December 5, 1895; county, Wyoming; crime, burglary, third degree, and grand larceny, second degree; term, eight years; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to three years, ten months and twenty-two days, actual time.
These prisoners broke and entered a store in the village of Gainesville and stole about $70 worth of goods. They pleaded guilty to the indictment charging them with burglary and larceny, and were sentenced to imprisonment for eight years — five years for burglary, and three years for larceny. Both were less than twenty years of age, and appear to have
been acting under the influence of an older companion. Under all the circumstances the maximum penalty for burglary, or five years, would alone have been ample, and with the commutation allowed by law they have served more than that term. The district attorney favors their application for clemency.
November 11, 1899. William Cassidy. Sentenced December 17, 1897; county, Steuben; crime, assault, second degree; term, three years; prison, Monroe County Penitentiary.
Commuted to one year, ten months and twenty-six days, actual time.
Recommended by judge, district attorney and others on the ground that the prisoner has been sufficiently punished. Until he committed the assault, his character had always been good, and during the ten years which elapsed between the finding of the indictment and the conviction (he being without the State) he was an industrious and law-abiding citizen and his conduct in every way exemplary. The assault, which appears to have been provoked by the vexatious and overbearing conduct of the complainant, was not of such a character as to demand severe punishment, and he has now served all but five months of his sentence.
December 2, 1899. John H. Robbins. Sentenced January 17, 1896; county, New York; crime, maiming; term, ten years; prison, Sing Sing.
Commuted to three years, ten months and eighteen days, actual time.
It is very doubtful if Robbins really intended to inflict the injury complained of. But however that may be, it is quite clear that the complainant was alone responsible for the altercation which resulted in the injury, and as Robbins had always borne a good character the sentence seems unduly