The Legislative Committee investigating charges in regard to the management of the penitentiary, met yesterday morning pursuant to adjournment the day before, in the Directors room of that institution. The dullness of the previous day's testimony made yesterday's revelations spicier than they otherwise would have been. Col. Wilkinson, the chief prosecutor, took the stand, but he failed to substantiate any of the charges in a satisfactory manner. He claimed that convicts had been given unnecessarily severe punishment, and in regard to the majority of the specifications of the charges against Superintendent Peck he could only substantiate them from hearsay evidence.
On cross examination Col. Wilkinson admitted that he was the inventor and constructor of the famous “kicking Jenny.” The cases cited in the charges of excessive punishment were proved to have been done while Wilkinson was temporarily in charge. Convict John Fossett, whose death was claimed to have been caused by the severe punishment he received, really died of typhoid fever after an illness of over twenty days.
Capt. Dovener then subjected the witness to a severe ordeal, compelling him to made admission to facts that placed him in anything by an enviable light regarding his morality. His boast of gallantry towards a lady who visited a prisoner, made to the foreman of the blacksmith department he acknowledged, but added that he told a lie.
In the afternoon the committee sat with closed doors, and spent the entire session examining convicts who had been punished.
Mr. J. B. McLure appeared yesterday as counsel for the prosecution.
--Wheeling Intelligencer, Feb. 10, 1887.
| Penitentiary Index |OCPL Home |OCPL History On-Line|