Monday, February 28, 2011

1955 Ruth Ellis hanged...

1955: Ruth Ellis hanged for killing lover
Convicted murderer Ruth Ellis has been hanged at Holloway Prison, London.

Ellis was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey for shooting her lover, 25-year-old racing driver David Blakely, outside the Magdala public house in north London on Easter Sunday.
Home Secretary Major Lloyd George rejected the final appeals to reprieve the 28-year-old former model and nightclub hostess last night.
Public support
The Prison Governor at Holloway was forced to call for police reinforcements yesterday evening as a crowd of 500 massed outside the prison's gates singing and chanting for Ellis for several hours.
Some people broke through police cordons to bang on the jail's doors, calling for Ellis to pray with them, but by 2330 BST the crowd had dispersed.
Thousands of people have signed petitions asking for the death penalty to be lifted in this case, including 35 members of London County Council who delivered their plea to the House of Commons last night.
The executioner, Albert Pierrepoint, arrived at the prison yesterday after travelling to the capital from Preston, Lancashire.
A silent crowd - including women with prams - collected around Holloway this morning, waiting for the execution at 0900 BST.
Eighteen minutes later, notice of Ellis' death was posted outside and the crowd surged forwards, blocking the road and stopping traffic.
Legal questions
Yesterday, Ellis was visited by her mother, her solicitor J G Bickford and her friend, Jacqueline Dyer, within an hour of hearing there would be no reprieve.
Her trial opened on 20 June and the jury took just 14 minutes to find her guilty of murder.
She did not appeal against her conviction.
The case has increased debate about British criminal justice and the death penalty.
The Royal Commission on Capital Punishment has reported recently that the incidence of murder is not significantly greater in countries where the death penalty has been abolished.