domingo, julho 07, 2024

Mary Surratt foi enforcada há 159 anos...

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt (Waterloo, Maryland, 1820 or May 1823 – Arsenal Penitentiary, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., July 7, 1865) was an American boarding house owner who was convicted of taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Sentenced to death, she was hanged, becoming the first woman executed by the United States federal government. She was the mother of John H. Surratt, Jr., who was later tried but was not convicted in the assassination.
The military tribunal considered guilt and sentencing on June 29 and 30. Surratt's guilt was the second-to-last considered, because her case presented problems of evidence and witness reliability. Sentence was handed down June 30. The military tribunal found Mary Surratt guilty on all charges but two. A death sentence required six of the nine votes of the judges. Surratt was sentenced to death, and the sentence announced publicly on July 5. When Powell learned of his sentence, he declared that Mary Surratt was completely innocent of all charges. The night before the execution, Surratt's priests and Anna Surratt both visited Powell, and elicited from him a strong statement declaring Mrs. Surratt innocent. Although this was delivered to Captain Christian Rath, who was overseeing the execution, Powell's statement had no effect on anyone with authority to prevent Surratt's death. But George Atzerodt bitterly condemned her, implicating her even further in the conspiracy. Powell's was the only statement by any conspirator exonerating Surratt.
Anna Surratt pleaded repeatedly for her mother's life with Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, but he refused to consider clemency. She also attempted to see President Andrew Johnson several times to beg for mercy, but was not granted permission to see him.
Five of the nine judges signed a letter asking President Andrew Johnson to give Surratt clemency and commute her sentence to life in prison, given her age and gender. Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt did not deliver the recommendation to President Johnson until July 5, two days before Surratt and the others were to hang. Johnson signed the order for execution, but did not sign the order for clemency. Johnson later said he never saw the clemency request; Holt said he showed it to Johnson, who refused to sign it. Johnson, according to Holt, said in signing the death warrant that she had "kept the nest that hatched the egg".
Execution of Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt on July 7, 1865

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