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Old News Stories
Eula Not First Women Sentenced to Death, 1928

From The Atlanta Constitution
Aug. 17, 1928

Thompson Case Recalls Notorious Crimes

Two white women and one negress in Georgia have preceded Eula Thompson down the corridor of death that loomed for her Thursday by supreme court decree.

Three times Georgia law has claimed the life of a woman for crimes against society, veteran prison commission officials say.

Perhaps the most notorious of these was Susan Eberhardt, hanged with her lover, Enoch Spann, in 1873 for strangling the latter's wife.

Her subsequent appeal for supreme court clemency was denied with a stinging rebuke for "the sickly sentimentalist" who had interceded in her behalf.

For months prior to the Webster county execution the governor and his prison board was besieged with appeals to spare the woman's life.

But the revolting nature of the crime, and the overwhelming evidence offered in the trial moved the high tribunal not only to decline the plea, but to issue an eloquent denunciation of the pair.

"She stood by, aiding, even with her woman's hand," the statement said, "the foul brute who then strangled the woman he had sworn to love and protect. She is equally as guilty as he."

The Eberhardt woman and Spann strangled Sarah Spann in her bed with a rope which they knotted about her throat, according to the testimony.

Both were captured in Alabama, where they had fled after the crime, and were tried separately at a special session of court with the supreme penalty in each case.

Approximately 50 years ago in Wilkes county another white woman was hanged for participation in a murder, details of which were unavailable Thursday.

Shortly later a negress of Dodge county was convicted for murder and hanged for her part in a race tiot of that section, prison commissions recalled.

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