RI Senate votes to pardon Irish man hanged in 1845


The Rhode Island Senate has endorsed a call to pardon an Irish man hanged for murder in 1845.

John Gordon was the last man put to death in Rhode Island. The Irish immigrant was hanged 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.

The Senate voted 33-3 on the bill, which calls on Gov. Lincoln Chafee to pardon Gordon. The House has already endorsed the proposal. Chafee says he supports the pardon.

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