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This is the story of the very first electric chair execution. It followed the rivalry of Edison and Westinghouse to provide electricity to America. Edison’s system was low-voltage and dependable, Westinghouse’s was unpredictable and potentially deadly. Edison volunteered his rival’s alternating-current system to power the first-ever electric chair – ensuring Westinghouse would both foot the bill and field the negative publicity. Regrettably, the current’s voltage had been overrated and the convict’s death was not instantaneous. Over the last century, the electric chair has become the symbol of America's death penalty and the debate over how to do execute the condemned.
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