Leonard Shockley

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Leonard Shockley
Born Leonard Michael Shockley
Died April 10, 1959 (age 17)
Criminal penalty Death by gas chamber
Criminal status Deceased
Conviction(s) First degree murder

Leonard Melvin Shockley (1941/1942 – April 10, 1959) was a juvenile executed in the United States on April 10, 1959, for a murder committed when he was under the age of 18. Shockley, a black male, was executed in Maryland in a gas chamber for the murder of shopkeeper Sarah Hearne on January 16, 1958. Shockley (then 16) was involved in the robbery of a small shop in Dorchester County, Maryland. [1] He was accompanied by his older brother, 23-year-old Harold Edward Shockley. Hearne was found stabbed several times in the back and breast, and her throat had been cut. The young culprits were identified by an eye witness. Leonard was 17 years of age at the time of his execution[2] making him the last instance of a juvenile being executed in America. His brother received life in prison. Harold Shockley was later released from prison in an unknown year and was arrested for a single petty theft in 1999. As of 2016, Harold Shockley is in his 80s and still lives in Worcester County in Snow Hill, Maryland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stark, Mike. "The Race To Execute In Maryland." The New Abolitionist. November 2002, Issue 26.
  2. ^ Streib, Victor L. (1987). Death Penalty for Juveniles. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-31615-4. 

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