The Killing of John Sharpless

The Pursuit of Justice in Delaware County
Author(s): Stephanie Hoover
Original Publish Date: Apr 09, 2013
Product Number: EB00752771
Released: Jan 31, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781625841261
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
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The Pennsylvania historian "deftly investigates turn-of-the-century law (such as it was) to find fresh answers" in a controversial 19th century murder (Main Line Today). On a stormy November evening in 1885, John Sharpless answered a knock on his door. Less than an hour later, he was found dead in his barn from a blow to the back of the head; his bloodstained hat lay next to him on the ground. A three thousand dollar reward for the killer sparked an overzealous bounty hunt across southeastern Pennsylvania, and numerous innocent men were arrested. Samuel Johnson—a local African American man with a criminal record—was charged. Despite the Widow Sharpless's insistence that Johnson was not the man who had come to their door, he was tried and sentenced to hang. Author Stephanie Hoover offers an in-depth investigation of the crime. From the events of that night and the mishandling of the investigation by a corrupt police force to the trial and conviction of Johnson and the efforts of the Quaker community to appeal the sentence, Hoover profiles a miscarriage of justice in Delaware County. Includes photos

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