Electric Chair Victims , for Political Reasons

Some criminals are driven by their political views and beliefs, which causes them to want to physically change the course of history. In this article, you will learn of two men who killed for political motives, such as Leon Czolgosz, who was sentenced to death by electrocution after he assassinated U.S. President William McKinley , shooting him on September 6, 1901.

Leon Czolgosz

On September 6, Leon Czolgosz went to the exposition that the President was to be at with a .32 caliber revolver in his possession. He claimed he had bought the gun on September 2 for $4.50. He wrapped the gun in a handkerchief that he tucked into his pocket. Czolgosz saw the President and approached him during his procession. The President was standing in a receiving line inside of the Temple of Music so that he could connect with the public for 10 minutes. It was4:07 p.m. when Czolgosz made his way to the front of the line. When McKinley extended his hand out to shake, Czolgosz slapped it away and shot him two times in the stomach at point blank range.

People in the crowd rushed to subdue Czolgosz until the National Guard and police got a hold of him. They beat him so badly; it was thought that he might not live long enough for a trial. Czolgosz was placed in a cell at a precinct house until he was transferred to the police headquarters located downtown.

Czolgosz eventually went to trial and in the end, it took the jury one hour to pass down a guilty verdict. He was sentenced to death by electric chair. Three jolts of electricity were used to kill him , each one set at 1800 volts. He died at Auburn Prison October 29, 1901.

Giuseppe Zangara

Giuseppe Zangara is responsible for assassinating Anton Cermak, who was the mayor of Chicago during the 1930s. It is believed that Zangara intended on killing U.S. President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While the president was able to escape without getting hurt, five other people were shot, including Cermak.

It was February 15, 1933 when Roosevelt was giving a speech from the back of an open car in Miami, Florida, where Zangara was residing, working here and there, and living off of his savings. He joined the crowd to hear the speech, but he was different than all the rest. He had in his possession a .32-caliber pistol that he had purchased from a local pawn shop. Because he was only five feet tall, Zangara had to stand on a folding metal chair to get a clear shot. After the first bullet was released, people standing around him grabbed his arm, but he was able to let off four more uncontrolled shots. All of the bullets hit someone, but it was the mayor Anton Cermak who died that day. He was standing next to Roosevelt.

Cermak would die nearly 20 days after being shot, where Zangara was promptly indicted for first-degree murder for his death. He would only spend 10 days on Death Row before he was executed in Old Sparky , the name given to the electric chair at Florida State Prison.