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The last public execution in the United States of America, 1936

Rainey Bethea (August 14, 1936) was the last person publicly executed in the United States. Bethea, Caught up for killing a 70-year-old woman (named Lischia Edwards) — done in the midst of a drunken burglary, he had left a telltale ring at the scene; fingerprint analysis also helped establish his guilt — Rainey Bethea was on the hook for murder, robbery and rape. The former two indictments would have subjected him to (private) electrocution at the state penitentiary. The latter charge still carried the punishment of public hanging in the local county seat.





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