William F. Hard, a Christian boy of seventeen, who was sentenced to be hung, was saved by Rudolph I. Coffee, Rabbi of Temple Sinai, Oakland. The boy who had been sentenced to the gallows in Yreka, Siskiyou County, was in the county prison awaiting his execution on May 25th, when Rabbi Coffee, who is a member of the State Board of Prisons, succeeding the late Dr. Martin A. Meyer, in the course of his duties became interested in him.
The boy looked so young that Rabbi Coffee started an investigation, and discovered through the birth records in Los Angeles that he was only seventeen. The boy had been thought above legal age because in order to obtain an automobile license about a year ago he had claimed to be older.
Due to Rabbi Coffee’s activities, Governor Friend W. Richardson announced that the lad’s sentence would be commuted to life imprisonment. The mother of the boy and the local press are full of praise for the humane act of the Jewish Rabbi.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.