by Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael L. Radelet

Excerpt from Appendix A: Catalogue of Defendants

FUDGE, E.J. (white). 1916. Florida. Fudge was convicted of first-degree murder for killing his two daughters and sentenced to life in prison. On appeal, the conviction was reversed and a new trial was ordered. According to the court, a suicide note written by one of the children and the absence of a motive for murder by their father indicated the two deaths were caused by a suicide-murder by one of the girls. “While the testimony raises a vague and attenuated suspicion that by some rare chance the plaintiff in error might have murdered his children, there is no whit of it that points with any certainty in that direction . . . . ”1 In 1918, nolle prosequi was entered in the case.2


1. Fudge v. State, 75 Fla. 441, 447, 78 So. 510, 512 (1918).
2. Court journal entry of nolle prosequi, State v. Fudge, No. 1916-24117-CA-01, Minute Book X, at 281 (Escambia County, Fla., Cir. Ct. filed Apr. 10, 1918).