Things To Remember While Reading Excerpts From "far Worse Than Hanging":
- The adoption of electrocution as a means for carrying out death penalties in New York was first introduced by the state's governor in 1885. A commission studied the proposal and issued a report recommending the adoption of electrocution in January 1888.
- A debate had been raging over the use of direct current or alternating current in homes and businesses through the 1880s. Many believed alternating current would be much more reliable and effective in killing a person. Alternating current was selected for the Auburn electric chair.
- Officials were eager to adopt electrocution as a means of execution, believing it would be much quicker and effective, countering arguments of those who opposed the death penalty on the grounds that it was cruel and inhumane.