google10fa0980c6101c7f.html The Many Faces of Death: DEATH by Jury Demonstration - Clement Vallandigham, USA


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Monday, September 5, 2011

0 DEATH by Jury Demonstration - Clement Vallandigham, USA

Clement Vallandigham
Member of the U.S. House
of Representatives
 from Ohio's 3rd district
After the Civil War, controversial Ohio politician Clement Vallandigham became a highly successful lawyer who rarely lost a case.

Vallandigham died in 1871 in Lebanon, Ohio, at the age of 50, after accidentally shooting himself with a pistol. 

In 1871, he defended Thomas McGehan who was accused of shooting one Tom Myers during a barroom brawl. Vallandigham’s defense was that Myers had accidentally shot himself while drawing his pistol from a kneeling position.

To convince the jury, Vallandigham decided to demonstrate his theory.  As Vallandigham conferred with fellow defense attorneys in his hotel room, he showed them how he would demonstrate this to the jury. Grabbing a pistol he believed to be unloaded, he put it in his pocket and enacted the events as they might have happened, shooting himself in the process. Vallandigham proved his point, and the defendant, Thomas McGehan, was acquitted and released from custody. Clement Vallandigham, however, died of his wound. His last words expressed his faith in "that good old Presbyterian doctrine of predestination." Survived by his wife, Louisa Anna (McMahon) Vallandingham, and his son Charles Vallandigham, he was buried in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.


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