Push to pardon man hanged in RI faces vote


Rhode Island senators are set to take up a pardon for the last man executed in Rhode Island.

A Senate panel plans to vote Wednesday on legislation calling on Gov. Lincoln Chafee to pardon John Gordon, an Irish immigrant hanged in 1845 for the murder of a wealthy Rhode Island mill owner. Historians and law professors now say Gordon was wrongfully convicted after a trial tainted by anti-Irish bigotry.

Wednesday’s vote will send the measure to the full Senate for consideration. The legislation has already passed the House. Chafee, an independent, has said he supports the pardon. 

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