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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: U.S. marshal seeks permission to hang murderer from scaffolding on roof of downtown post office

U.S. Marshal James E. McGovern confirmed that he had applied for permission to build a scaffold on the roof of the downtown post office on Riverside Avenue to execute convicted murderer Edward Mayberry, The Spokesman-Review reported on March 8, 2017. (Spokesman-Review archives)
U.S. Marshal James E. McGovern confirmed that he had applied for permission to build a scaffold on the roof of the downtown post office on Riverside Avenue to execute convicted murderer Edward Mayberry, The Spokesman-Review reported on March 8, 2017. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The U.S. marshal in Spokane raised an alarming possibility: a hanging on Riverside Avenue.

Marshal James E. McGovern confirmed that he had applied for permission to build a scaffold on the roof of the downtown post office on Riverside Avenue to execute convicted murderer Edward Mayberry.

Early indications were that federal officials weren’t too enthusiastic about holding an execution in the middle of downtown. Yet they had also expressed doubts about another proposed site, Fort George Wright.

The state of Washington already had abolished capital punishment, but Mayberry had been convicted in federal court since the murder occurred on Colville Reservation land. Mayberry’s execution was scheduled for April 19.

From the playground beat: Swing sets and teeter-totters were about to return to local school playgrounds. Spokane schools, and others around the state, dismantled their swing sets and other playground equipment after the state Supreme Court ruled that schools could be held liable for injuries.

However, the state senate just passed a new law exempting schools from liability, so kids would soon be swinging and teetering again.

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