Crime

Eddie Ives's botched execution and replacing the noose with the gas chamber

This week's cover story, "The Happiest Man on Death Row," examines the 1939 execution of Joe Arridy, a Pueblo man with an IQ of 46, for a murder he probably didn't commit -- and the twenty-year battle by author Robert Perske to clear his name. Although the miscarriage of justice in Arridy's case is shocking, his time in the state pen (where he was allowed to play with his toy train) was an oddly gentle period in his short life, and his death by asphyxiation in Colorado's gas chamber was swift -- unlike the fate of many of his predecessors on death row.