Rep. Birmingham urged an Aug. 8 rally of the Clemency Committee in Brighton to write letters to Gov. Alvan T. Fuller asking for clemency for the carbarn trio, the Boston Globe reported (Aug. 9, 1926, p. 1, 2). He also urged the audience to telephone and visit neighbors to write letters as well.
The carbarn trio – John J. Devereaux, John J. McLaughlin, and Edward J. Heinlein – were convicted in the murder of James H. Ferneau, a watchman on duty at the Boston and Middlesex Street Railway office in Waltham, during a 1925 robbery and were sentenced to death.
Clemency Committee Secretary Frank J. Manning told the rally that the committee had received assurance that the executions would not be carried out until after lawyers for the trio had been given an opportunity to argue the case before the state Supreme Court on Aug. 11. The executions had been scheduled for the early morning hours of Aug. 10.
“These boys are not going to the electric chair until a protest is made that will share this state,” he said.
Manning also told the crowd that the mothers of the three condemned men had left Brighton to make a personal appeal for clemency to Fuller at his summer home at Little Boar’s Head, N.H. The meeting did not change the governor’s mind, the Globe reported.