Clifford Grogan, a guard at Western Penitentiary, was stabbed to death by inmate Stanley Howard on November 12, 1965, after coming to the aid of a fellow officer. Howard was serving a 30 to 60 year sentence for a 1962 Philadelphia robbery.
Howard pled guilty to a first-degree murder charge and was convicted on April 11, 1966. He was sentenced to death on November 2, 1966.
The motive for the attack is unclear, though Howard’s guilty plea, his refusal of the assistance of counsel, his history of suicide, and his serious mental health problems suggest he sought the death penalty.
Howard’s death sentence was overturned by the United States Supreme Court’s landmark Furman v. Georgia (408 US 238, 1972) case, which invalidated all death sentences in place at the time. He was resentenced to life imprisonment.
Stanley Howard died in prison on April 6, 1994.