Sunday, December 11, 2011

Murder (Pt.3) By Bureaucracy

"Insisting that he wanted “vindication,” Edward Black, convicted in 1929 of a slaying at Rookwood Pottery, Tuesday had turned down a parole which would have relieved him of serving 35 months more at the London Prison Farm.
An Associated Press dispatch reported that Black would have been granted a parole Tuesday had he not refused it at a hearing last week…Now 62, according to Cincinnati police records, Black...was convicted of manslaughter and given a ten to 20-year sentence…Commission records also showed that Black and Smith were attentive to the same woman.
Raymond Younger, commission chairman, said that Black “emphatically refused a parole.”
“We would have given him his parole without question,” Younger said, “but he insisted he wanted vindication. The commission could only accommodate him by continuing his case to the maximum, he had no previous criminal record and he had lost no time by bad behavior.”
Younger disclosed that somehow Black had gotten the idea that his sentence was three years and a day and that at the commission hearing he insisted that he had been “illegally held” since 1933…According to commission records, Black “became wild” at a previous hearing, but when a psychiatric test showed no serious derangement nothing further was done in his case.
Cincinnati police records listed Black with the aliases of Jesse Keith and Edward Keith."

--Cincinnati Times-Star, June 24, 1947

William "Foss" Hopkins, 1970

"William F. Hopkins, who defended Black in 1929, learned yesterday that the entry of sentence at Cincinnati showed only “10 years” for Black’s sentence. He said Black had not communicated with him since being admitted to the penitentiary, and that he had no knowledge of Black’s dealings with the Parole Board.
The whole case is confusing, judging by what information has reached me,” Hopkins said of the parole hearings. “I have not been in contact with it, but I think that to some extant [sic] it exemplifies the need for reform.”

--Cincinnati Enquirer, June 25, 1947

Images: Cincinnati Public Library, Ohio Historical Society, William F. Hopkins Collection of the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum, World Publishing Company

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