« PreviousContinue »
severe. He has now served a term equivalent to five and a half years, less legal deduction for good conduct, and in view of all the facts has been imprisoned long enough.
December 2, 1899. Frank H. Blighton. Sentenced March 14, 1898; county, Fulton; crime, forgery, second degree; term, three years; prison, Clinton.
Commuted to one year, eight months and five days, actual time.
In view of Blighton's previous good character and his good conduct during imprisonment, the term he has now served, being legally equivalent to two years, is deemed a sufficient punishment. The commutation is granted on the recommendation of the district attorney who procured the conviction, and of many leading citizens of Fulton county.
December 19, 1899. Henry White. Sentenced December 9, 1897; county, Onondaga; crime, attempt to commit robbery, third degree; term, five years; prison, Auburn.
Commuted to two years and twelve days, actual time. Recommended by the judge, the district attorney, eleven of the jurors and other citizens. There is considerable doubt as to whether there was really an attempt to rob, and, therefore, whether the offense was, in fact, anything more than assault. In view of this doubt the term now served is a sufficient penalty.
December 30, 1899. John C. Baldwin. Sentenced January 13, 1878, to be executed; commuted to imprisonment for life, March 7, 1878; county, Orange; crime, murder, first degree; prison, Sing Sing.
Commuted to twenty-one years, nine months and twenty days, actual time.
There has always been a great deal of doubt as to Baldwin's guilt. The evidence upon which he was convicted. although quite convincing, was wholly circumstantial, and many circumstances were clearly proved and not disputed which seem altogether inconsistent and irreconcilable with the conclusion reached by the jury. Shortly after the conviction, Governor Robinson, upon the petition of all the jurors, the county judge, the justices of sessions and many members of the bar and business men of the county, commuted the sentence to imprisonment for life. This was done solely on account of the serious doubt existing in the case. "The doubt has been greatly increased and strengthened by the fact that since then some of the most formidable of the circumstances proved on the trial have been fully met and explained, and there is good reason to believe that if this had been done at the time a different result would have followed. Some years ago an affidavit made by seven of the jurors was filed to the effect that proof of the circumstances referred to “was the evidence which led the jury to the conclusion that the defendant was guilty." Judges Hirschberg and Dickey, of the Supreme Court, both residents of Orange county, and familiar with all the facts of the case, are now of the opinion that Baldwin ought to be released.
December 28, 1899. Howard C.. Benham. Convicted of murder, first degree, in the county of Genesee, and sentenced September 11, 1897, to be executed.
Respite granted until February 13, 1900. Granted on application of Judge Hooker, in order to give him time to consider and decide a motion made for a new trial.