Appears in "The Wapanucka Press" 11 June 1903, Wapanucka, Johnston County, Indian Territory, now Oklahoma
A DOUBLE HANGING
In the United States court at South McAlester last week, Charles Barrett convicted of the murder of John Hennessey, at Calvin, and Dora Wright, a negro woman convicted of the murder of her adopted daughter, a Wilburton were sentenced by Judge W. H. H. Clayton to be hanged on Friday the 17th of July.
The following is the proceedings of the court in the Barrett case as appearing in the South McAlister Daily News:
The court room was packed Wednesday afternoon when the death sentence was passed by Judge Clayton on Charles Barrett and Dora Wright. There was a silence as of the tomb throughout the solemn proceedings. According to the shorthand notes of Stenographer Dubois, the following was the exact language used”
The Court: “Barrett, you stand convicted of murder. You were defended by a lawyer of your choice and tried by a jury substantially of your own selection, and the jury has found you guilty of murder. Have you anything to say why the sentence of the law should not be pronounced against you?
“The sentence of the law as pronounced by the court against you, Charles Barrett, for the crime of murder, of which you stand convicted in this court, is, that the marshal of this district shall now take you to the United States jail, located at South McAlester, in the Central district of the Indian Territory, and there safely keep you until Friday, the 17th day of July, 1903, on which day, on peril of what may befall him, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, he shall cause execution hereof by taking you to some convenient place within the Central district of the Indian Territory to be selected by him and there cause you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead. And may God have mercy on your soul.
I think, Barrett, that perhaps I ought to say something to you. In all human probability, the sentence that has just been pronounced against you will be carried into execution. I cannot see that there can be any ground for executive clemency in your case. And, therefore, my advice to you is that you prepare your soul to meet your God; that you utilize a few remaining days of your life in preparing for the great change that will undoubtedly come to you upon the 17th day of next July. We are taught by the Bible, and as Christian people we believe that no matter how black or damning the sin may be of which we are guilty, that it may approach the Great God of Mercy in a proper way, He will forgive us. My advice to you is to call to your assistance some minister of the gospel in whom you have confidence, and to listen to his words and take his advice. That is all I have to say to you. Of course you may go on, recklessly if you desire. It is entirely with you, and I do it kindly. I do not want to add anything to your present lamentable condition, but simply say to you that if I were you I would make all preparation for the great change that will shortly come to you.”