CRIME: Cracking Point

At Millersburg, Ohio (pop. 2,203), Jesse Wynn, 51, and his brother William, 48, stole an old-fashioned ice box, sold it for $3. Brought before Common Pleas Judge Robert B. Putnam in the Holmes County court, they were given their choice of 30 days in jail or a public whipping of 20 lashes. They took the whipping.

Sheriff John Stevens, fat and fiftyish, led the petty thieves to the jail courtyard, fastened their hands over their heads to the jail's window bars. They wore their shirts as the lash cracked down across their backs. Sheriff Stevens puffed and panted. One whip was...

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