Q: I know Delaware kept the whipping post until 1972, but can you tell me when it was last used in Cecil County?
A: Maryland moved more quickly than Delaware to eradicate whippings. In 1882, Maryland changed its code so that only one offense, wife-beating, called for whipping and/or imprisonment. The last time a corporal punishment sentence was handed down in Cecil County was December 1940, when the circuit court ordered that the sheriff administer 10 lashes to a convicted wife-beater. The Cecil Democrat, a newspaper, remarked that this was the first time in 46 years that a person was sentenced to the whipping post in Cecil County. The cat-o-nine-tails were wielded by Sheriff David Randolph, who carried out the punishment in public. Although Delaware’s criminal code permitted floggings until 1972, the whip was last used in 1952.
— Mike Dixon
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