Unusual Destinations: Fort Smith’s “Hanging Judge”

Aug 22, 2019 View Comments by

Judge Isaac Parker, who held the bench in the Western District of Arkansas for 21 years, became known in America’s Old West as the “Hanging Judge.” During his tenure, Parker sentenced 160 people to death. In one case in 1875 18 men were tried for murder; 15 were convicted; eight received the death penalty sentence and six received justice on the same day. Ironically, Parker was not a proponent of capital punishment, but he did faithfully (and efficiently) carry out the laws of the land.

Learn more about Judge Parker at the Fort Smith National Historic Site at 301 Parker Ave, Ft Smith, AR, (479) 783-3961, www.nps.gov/fosm/index.htm. The restored courtroom, jail and reconstructed gallows are on display.




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