Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sentenced to Hang

A total of 12 convicts were "Sentenced to Hang" at the Brantford Gaol.


Of those, only 8 were actually hanged. The other four were successful in having their sentences commuted to "Life in Prison" which they served at the Kingston Penitentiary.

  • In 1870, Arthur M Pierce was charged with murdering his wife. His trial date was set for November 8th, 1870 after which Justice Morrison sentenced Pierce to death by hanging. His date of execution was fixed to December 20th, 1870, but following a plea for mercy, Pierce's sentence was commuted to Life in Prison, which he served at the Kingston Penitentiary.
  • On November 23rd, 1874, James McNamara was sentenced to hang for murder.  McNamara, 19 years of age, stabbed and killed a man named McKinnon. Justice Barton found McNamara guilty and sentenced him to death by hanging with the date of execution set to June 7, 1875. Following a plea for mercy, McNamara was successful in having his sentence commuted to Life in Prison, which he served at the Kingston Penitentiary.
  • On February 24th 1905, Felix Doyle was charged with the murder of his wife, Margaret Monoghan Doyle after he struck and killed her with a blunt instrument. Doyle was tried before Justice Anglin, the trial lasting 5 days, from September 25th - September 30th. Justice Anglin sentenced Doyle to death by hanging, with the date of execution fixed to December 15th, 1905. However, following a plea for mercy, an order-in-council on December 4, 1905 commuted Doyle's sentence to Life in Prison, to be served at the Kingston Penitentiary.
  • On November 11, 1947, Jonathan Maynard, a 17 year old Indian labourer murdered Isaac Hill, on the Six Nations Indian Reserve, by beating him to death. The beating occurred as part of a robbery attempt made by Maynard. Maynard was tried before Justice Urquhart during a trial lasting from March 30th, 1948 - April 4, 1948. Justice Urquhart sentenced Maynard to death by hanging, with the date of execution fixed to June 22, 1948. Following a plea for mercy, Maynard was successful in having his sentenced commuted to live in prison. Maynard served his sentence at the Penitentiary in Kingston.
This commutation of sentence meant that the last person to be hanged at the Brantford Gaol was 38 year old Joseph Bomberry who was executed on December 8th, 1932.

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