City Museum hosts lecture on last Alaska executions

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum will host a free evening public presentation by Averil Lerman on the last executions in Alaska.

The City Museum said in a news release that two African-American men were hanged in Juneau after separate criminal trials, one in 1948 and other in 1950. They were the last men sentenced to death in Alaska. Each was hanged for the same 1946 murder of a Juneau shopkeeper. According to Lerman, an Anchorage attorney who spent 20 years litigating the validity of criminal convictions in state and federal court, evidence suggests that neither conviction was properly obtained, nor the trials fair.

Lerman has conducted an extensive investigation into events relating to the two Juneau trials, and is writing a book on the subject. Her research has been supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the Alaska Native Justice Center. Lerman also serves on the board of the Alaska Historical Society.

Lerman presented her research at the joint Museums Alaska/Alaska Historical Society conference held in Cordova last month in a session titled “Politics and Social Justice,” and was invited to Juneau by the city museum to present her topic and conduct further research.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 7

Here’s what to expect this week.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday Aug. 12, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police ID man missing from cruise ship

Coast Guard suspends search efforts

Most Read