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EXTRAORDINARY FAILURE OF JUSTICE IN THE WOODGATE CASE.

It was only yesterday that the Sheriff Avas able to make final arrangements for the condemned convict m the Picton gaol. The scaffold was. erected by Mr James Gorrie of Blenheim, cooper, who was applied to, m consequence of the refusal of all the carpenters m Picton to do the work. It is built of rough timber, and is situated m the left hand corner of the gaol yard. It was necessary to dig a pit, so that persons outside the precincts of the gaol should not witness the execution, and that there might be a sufficient drop. Samuel Chandler, Chemney Sweep, was engaged as hangman, and weiit through to Picton yesterday by the morning train. He could get no accomodation there however, the Publicans refusing, one and all, to serve him with drink. He was literally driven out of the town and returned to Blenheim m the afbernoon. Several persons went through from Blenheim by the evening train and when they got there applied to the Sheriff for orders to witness the execution, which we understand were given. As Chandler had been driven out of Picton, and no person could be obtained m the Province of Marlborough to execute the extreme sentence of the law, Wellington was applied to, the telegraph being m requisition until midnight, but the effort was fruitless, the convicts m the Picton and Wellington gaols all refusing. In consequence of this the condemned man was not executed to-day, the gaoler and the Sheriff declining to officiate, and m fact we understand that they were both prepared to resign their respective offices sooner than cany out the sentence of the law themselves. What course will be adopted by the Government we are at present unable to say. The condemned man partook of the Holy Eucharist yesterday afternoon, the Yen. Archdeacon Butt and the Rev Mr Ronaldson officiating. He still maintains his innocence, and the local clergyman expresses an opinion that he is not guilty of the crime for which he lias been sentenced. Every effort has been used to obtain. a reprieve, the Executive Officer, the clergy, and all the people of influence m Picton having communicated with the Government, but without effect.

We were officially informed this afternoon that the present state of affairs is that the event is postponed sine die, until an individual can be found who ; will tmdertake the duty of carrying out the sentence of the law.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/MEX18770124.2.10

Bibliographic details

EXTRAORDINARY FAILURE OF JUSTICE IN THE WOODGATE CASE., Marlborough Express, Volume XII, Issue 887, 24 January 1877

Word Count
414

EXTRAORDINARY FAILURE OF JUSTICE IN THE WOODGATE CASE. Marlborough Express, Volume XII, Issue 887, 24 January 1877

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