Dakota Datebook

Hanging Denied

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Joseph Rozum, a bootlegger, was released from prison but was soon arrested for the fatal shooting of Louis Starman in January of 1904 and sentenced to death by hanging. He was sent to the Penitentiary to await his execution scheduled for October 21.

On this date in 1904, Warden N. F. Boucher notified Sheriff Bannon of Walsh County that Rozum was acting irrationally. After a hearing, he was found to be insane, and state law forbade the execution of an insane person, so he was removed to the State Hospital, escaping the hangman’s noose.

He would live another seven years, but on September 16, 1911, death, once cheated, won a final victory over Joseph Rozum.


Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis




The Fargo Forum October 3, 1904

Hansboro News September 29, 1911


This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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