Was the youngest person executed by Pennsylvania actually innocent?

Author Samuel Lemon at WHYY speaking about his book 'The Case That Shocked The Country: The Unquiet Deaths of Vida Robare and Alexander McClay Williams' (Brett Rader/WHYY)

Author Samuel Lemon at WHYY speaking about his book 'The Case That Shocked The Country: The Unquiet Deaths of Vida Robare and Alexander McClay Williams' (Brett Rader/WHYY)

The O.J. Simpson parole hearing is dominating the non-politcal news, but the legacy of race relations looming large in the criminal justice system has a long history in the region.

The Case That Shocked the Country: the Unquiet Deaths of Vida Robare and Alexander Clay Williams — the Youngest Person in Pennsylvania to Die in the Electric Chair — for A Crime He Did Not Commit documents a 1930 murder case and conviction in Delaware County. The book’s author is Samuel Lemon, whose grandfather William Ridley was the defense attorney for Alexander Clay Williams, a black 16 year old, who was charged with killing Vida Robare. Williams was executed in the electric chair on June 8, 1931.

Author Dr. Samuel Lemon joined NewsWorks Tonight’s Dave Heller to discuss the case.

Disclosure: Samuel Lemon served as Manager, WHYY Community Education Services in the late 1990’s.

 

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