It was on Jan. 22, 1963, that New Jersey carried out its last execution. Ralph Hudson earned that distinction by being electrocuted at the Trenton State Prison.

Hudson had been sentenced to death for murdering his wife. According to Murderpedia, Hudson was a notorious drunk and frequently became abusive when drinking. He met his wife, Myrtle, while they were both working at an Atlantic City restaurant. She got tired of the abuse and moved in with friends in 1960, but her husband stalked her and beat her badly enough to get a six month jail sentence.

When he got out, he went on a three day bender; he bought a knife and went to the restaurant where Myrtle still worked; she was sitting at a table with other waitresses. Hudson cornered her and stabbed her to death in full view of all the patrons.

Hudson never denied the crime, saying on the stand during his trial, “Yeah, I did it.” He also turned down a plea deal that prosecutors had offered; his attorney argued that he wasn’t responsible because of his drunken stupor. The jury disagreed and he was convicted and sentenced to death. His attorney, Roy Baylinson, said that his client would rather be put to death than serve time. After a last meal of prime rib and ice cream, Hudson was electrocuted; he did not have any final words.

Although other people were sentenced to death, no executions were carried out after that until the state abolished capital punishment in 2007.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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