#8 Pardons and Punishment


My name is Jem and I am a Science, Technology, and Society major. I have a personal interest in the Prison-Industrial Complex, which lead me to taking this course and learning about the evolution of punishment in Indiana and the United States.


In this final episode of Forgotten, the life histories of two Indiana men convicted of life sentences are examined. Both men, James Blackwood and Andrew Koerner, were found guilty of killing their wives in the 1880s. Their stories are analyzed along with the evolving nature of punishment and forgiveness in Indiana. I connect their stories to the present day and discuss how the stigma of being marked as a felon has changed. I also discuss the use of unclaimed bodies, such as that of prisoners, being used by medical schools and in scientific endeavors, with an update on what happens to unclaimed bodies today.

Works Cited

Bernstein, Nina. “New York City’s Medical Schools Will Stop Using Unclaimed Bodies.” The New York Times, 10 Aug 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/nyregion/new-york-citys-medical-schools-will-stop-using-unclaimed-bodies.html.

Bjornstad, William. “Thomas Riley Marshall.” Find A Grave, 1 Jan 2001. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/675/thomas-riley-marshall  

Horner, Frank Asbury. “The Revised Statutes of the State of Indiana.” Indiana Lawyers’ Co-operative Publishing Company, 1901. https://books.google.com/books?id=aUkwAQAAMAAJ&dq=indiana+prisoner+body+dissection&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Osgood, Robert L. “The Menace of the Feebleminded: George Bliss, Amos Butler, and the Indiana Committee on Mental Defectives.” Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 97, no. 4, 2001, pp. 253–277. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27792339.
Pellegrino, Edmund D. “Medical Education.” Dictionary of American History, 2003, https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/medical-education.

“Andrew Koerner Granted Full Pardon By Governor.” The Indianapolis Star, 07 January 1912, pp. 39. https://www.newspapers.com/image/7421346/?terms=andrew%2Bkoerner.

“Body Given to College: Fate of Aged Life Convict.” The Indianapolis Star, 25 December 1905, pp. 5. https://www.newspapers.com/image/118631565/?terms=james%2Bblackwood.

“Found Guilty of Killing His Wife.” The Indiana State Sentinel, 19 January 1887, pp. 5. https://www.newspapers.com/image/174009565/?terms=james%2Bblackwood.

“Guilty of Murder, Says the Blackwood Jury.” The Indianapolis News, 29 January 1887, pp. 1. https://www.newspapers.com/image/34510609/?terms=james%2Bblackwood.

“Imprisonment for Life.” The Indianapolis News, 20 November 1884, pp. 4. https://www.newspapers.com/image/34616109/?terms=andrew%2Bkoerner.

“Tells of 25 Years in Prison: Koerner Begs for Pardon.” The Indianapolis Star, 29 June 1911, p. 5.https://www.newspapers.com/image/6712718/

“The Blackwood Wife Murder.” The Indianapolis News, 26 January 1887, pp. 1.https://www.newspapers.com/image/34510597/?terms=james%2Bblackwood.

“The Blackwood Wife Murder Trial.” The Indianapolis Journal, 25 January 1887, pp. 2.https://www.newspapers.com/image/466032168/?terms=james%2Bblackwood.