Jimmon Burris and Sam Goin

Houston Joyce was traveling through Indian Territory after leaving his home in Franklin, Texas. When he stopped to eat at the Choctaw Nation home of Jim Goin, his hosts became aware that he was traveling with money. After giving him directions, Jimmon Burris and Sam Goin followed Joyce, robbed him, and killed him.

After Sam Goin told an associate of his crime, that man told authorities. Once Joyce’s body was found, Burris and Goin were arrested.

Taken to Fort Smith to stand trial in October 1889, Burris and Goin were convicted of murder. They were sentenced to death on November 1.

Prior to their executions, Burris and Goin confessed to two other murders.

Jimmon Burris and Sam Goin, both Choctaws, were hanged at Fort Smith on January 16, 1890.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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