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Colonial Cases

R. v. Sparks [1752]

capital punishment - Crown mercy

July 1752

Source: Halifax Gazette, 22 August 1752

[1] Williamsburgh, in Virginia, July 3. On Wednesday last John Sparks in the publick Gaol, under Sentence of Death, for the Murder of James Fox, contrived to saw off his Irons in the Day Time, and at Night, as soon as the Gaoler open'd the Prison Door, knocked him down with a Quart Bottle, and made his Escape. --- He was apprehended Yesterday Evening, and brought to Town this Morning and to prevent a Possibility of his escaping the Justice his Crime deserv'd, was this Day executed at the Gallows. --- He confessed himself guilty of the Murder, but entirely acquitted James Trotman, who was sentenc'd with him a the same Time, and whose Execution is respited.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School