PAWTUCKET, R.I.—The last man to be executed in Rhode Island has been honored with a memorial headstone.
John Gordon, an Irish immigrant, was hanged in 1845 at age 29 after being convicted of killing wealthy Cranston mill owner Amasa Sprague. Historians now say the evidence against him was circumstantial, and that prejudice against Irish Catholics compromised his trial.
The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/p2jdlX) that Gordon was honored Saturday at St. Mary's Cemetery in Pawtucket with the unveiling of a memorial headstone, including a plaque that reads, "Forgiveness is the Ultimate Revenge."
Gov. Lincoln Chafee also signed a proclamation in June pardoning Gordon.
The death penalty was abolished in Rhode Island in 1852 before being reintroduced two decades later. It was abolished again in 1984.