British-American Nicholas Ingram was electrocuted in the U.S. state of Georgia on this date in 1995.*
Born in England to a British mother and an American father, Ingram at age 19 had invaded the Cobb County home of J.C. and Mary Sawyer. The Sawyers complied with the armed intruder’s demands for money ($60) and the keys to their pickup truck, but Ingram still marched them to a nearby woods and executed them. J.C. Sawyer was killed; Mary Sawyer feigned death and survived to give evidence against their tormenter.
Thanks to his nationality and his legal representation (British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who would later found the anti-death penalty NGO Reprieve), Ingram’s prospective execution because a cause celebre in Old Blighty. British MPs and the Archbishop of Canterbury issued appeals for mercy, although Tory Prime Minister John Major gave a chilly refusal when solicited for intervention by Ingram’s family:
I found your letter very moving and I can imagine the profound distress you must be feeling. But I have concluded, with deepest regret, that there are no proper grounds for the British Government to intervene with the State of Georgia.
The Georgia prison commissioner who conducted this execution, Allen Ault, later turned against capital punishment.