Chipita Rodriguez | 10 People Who Were Wrongly Sentenced to Death

10 People Who Were Wrongly Sentenced to Death

Chipita Rodriguez
The first woman ever to be executed in the state of Texas, Chipita, a Mexican-American, was executed by hanging in 1863. She and her son (possibly illegitimate) were accused of murdering a traveller named John Savage with an axe to rob him of $600 of gold. Savage’s body turned up down the river along with the sack of money. Throughout the trial, Rodriguez maintained her innocence, but refused to testify in her defense and remained silent throughout the trial. It is believed that she was protecting her guilty son. When the trail was over, the jury recommended mercy, but the judge ordered her execution anyway. She was hanged from a mesquite tree at the age of 63. Her last words were, "No soy culpable" (I am not guilty). Her unfair trial and wrongful execution have spawned operas, books and articles; even ghost stories from people who claim to have seen her ghost riding through the mesquite trees or wailing from the riverbottoms. In 1985, the Texas state legislature passed a resolution noting that Rodriguez did not receive a fair trial.