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STATE OF IOWA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Des Moines, January 27, 1870.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives :
In compliance with the requirements of the constitution, I herewith submit a report of reprieves, pardons, and commutations granted, with the reasons therefor during the term of two years, beginning January 16th, 1868, and ending January 12th, 1870; as also a list of remissions of fines and forfeitures, with amounts remitted during the same time.
February 13th, 1868, issued an order postponing the execution of the sentence of death pronounced against Samuel P. Watkins, convicted of the crime of murder, committed in the county of Jackson, from the 21st day of February to the 17th day of April, 1868.
April 7th, 1868, issued an order for the further postponement of the execution of the sentence of death against S. P. Watkins, till the 16th day of October, 1868.
Both of these reprieves were granted for the reason that two other persons, who were indicted with Watkins for the same offense, were awaiting trial, and it was thought not iinprobable that additional facts would be developed at their trial, bearing upon the case of Watkins. The date fixed in each reprieve was selected with the expectation that the trial mentioned would take place before such time.
Peter Kramer, offense-larceny; sentence four months, November 4th, 1867, Johnson county. Pardon issued January 17th, 1868, on the petition of county officers and citizens of that county, representing that the convict was a young man who had previously borne an excellent character for industry, sobriety, and integrity, who served with credit as a private soldier in the late war, and who was led to commit the offense by the influence of an elder relative.
Christian A. Rohrabacker, offense—burglary; sentence, six years, May 17th, 1865, Buchanan county. Pardon granted January 30th, , 1868, on the petition of numerous citizens, stating that they believed him to be innocent of the crime and that he was convicted upon insufficient evidence, facts coming to light subsequent to the trial going to show the unreliability of the testimony given by the principal witness for the prosecution.
Ruel Cain, offense-larceny; sentence two years, from September, 1866, Black Hawk county. Pardoned February 6th, 1868, at the request of George H. Hand, of Yankton, Dakota Territory, who represented that the convict had a wife and child living at Yankton, and that they were dependent upon the father of Cain for their support, and that if a pardon were granted he would leave the State. His term also had nearly expired.
Loren G. Cole, offense—forgery; sentenced to pay a fine of three hundred dollars and be imprisoned in the county jail one year, March term, 1867, Jackson county. He had previously borne a good character, and this was his first offense. He having paid the fine, a pardon was granted on the 28th day of February, 1868, on the
petition of the presiding Judge, the District-Attorney and many others, stating the foregoing facts.
Catherine McArdle, offense-murder ; sentenced on the 12th day of October, 1864, in the district court for Jackson county, for life. Mrs. McArdle was an infirm old lady, being upwards of sixty years old and in feeble health, and it was quite generally believed by the attorneys and the Judge that she plead guilty to save her son,
who had been charged with the crime. Upon the recommendation of Judge Richman, and a statement by him that the ends of justice had been answered, her pardon was granted.
Frederick Riemer, offense-larceny; sentence two terms in the county jail of six months each and two fines of one hundred and fifty dollars each and costs of prosecution, by the district court of Des Moines county, January term, 1868. Pardon was issued September, 1st, 1868, upon the petition of the county officers of said county and the prosecuting witnesses, stating that the convict was ignorant and was believed to have been a tool in the hands of others; also, that he had already served nine months.
Wilson McLaughlin, offense-burglary; sentence six months, June 9th, 1868, from Cedar County. His pardon was granted upon the recommendation of the district judge presiding at his trial, and for good behavior while in the Penitentiary, having already served five months.
Jackson Benham, offense--murder; sentence two years and to pay a fine of one hundred dollars, June 6th, 1868, in the district court for Franklin county. He was pardoned January 26th, 1869, on a petition signe by the judge, district attorney, jurors, and county officers, stating, as a ground for such petition, his youth at the time the crime was committed, and also that there was doubt of his guilt.
David Cochran, offense-larceny, committed in Keokuk county ; sentence three months in the county jail. Pardoned January 26th, 1869, on the petition of the judge, district attorney, and nine of the jurors, Cochran being represented as nearly imbecile and hardly responsible.
Mollie Gardner, offense--larceny; sentence six months at the November term, 1868, of the district court for Scott county. She was pardoned on the 13th of February, 1869, on a petition signed by the judge, district attorney, leading lawyers, nine of the jurors, and many citizens of the county, representing that she was young and weak-minded, and was not the taker but only the receiver of the goods stolen.
Samuel Barr, offense-larceny; sentence three years from January 1867, by the district court for Des Moines county. Pardon was granted, March 5th, 1869, on the recommendation of the district judge, district attorney, and numerous citizens, for the reason that the convict was a young boy and this was his first offense; and also that his conduct in the Penitentiary had been unexceptionable.
Sterling McCord, offense-larceny; sentence three years at the September term, 1866, of the district court for Ringgold county. Pardon was issued April 21st, 1869, on the application of the judge and district attorney who tried, and the grand jury who indicted, him, representing that he is believed to have reformed and will make a good citizen; that he entered the military service of the United States during the war at the age of fourteen and served three years and was honorably discharged, and that this was his first offense.
William H. Knight, offense—burglary, in forcibly entering the Buchanan county safe ; sentence six years from July 1865, by the district court for Delaware county. His pardon was granted July 6th, 1869, on a petition signed by over two hundred citizens of Buchanan county, and forty-one of Black Hawk county. Among
the former were most of the county officers and the foreman and two of the grand jury who indicted him. Judge Burt, who tried the case, also qualifiedly concurred in the application, and the surgeon of the Penitentiary reported his health such as to unfit him for hard work. Moreover, from an examination of the testimony upon which he was convicted, it was believed that he was innocent of the crime.
Oliver J. Barker, offense—larceny, committed in Wayne county ; sentence two years from October 30th, 1867, by the district court for Lucas county. Pardoned July 6th, 1869, in response to a petition signed by a large number of citizens of Wayne county, including several of the county officers and the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal and United Presbyterian churches, and the leading business men, and of a certificate of good behavior from the Warden of the Penitentiary; and also because it was believed that this young man had been sufficiently punished, and because of the additional fact that he had served faithfully in the army during the late war, and that his pardon was asked for by his officers and comrades.
John Farrell, convicted of nuisance in selling intoxicating liquors, in Lee county. Remitted order of commitment to jail, July 29th, 1868, and directed that the fines stand against him in the form of a judgment. It was represented that, besides a small family of his own, a widowed mother and an invalid brother, who had lost his health in the army, are dependent upon him for support. He also promised not again to sell intoxicating liquors contrary to law. The petition in this case was signed by county officers and members of the board of supervisors, by the district attorney, and by many other citizens.
John Dailey, offense-selling intoxicating liquors, Polk county ; sentence, fine of sixty dollars, and to stand committed until the