Girl and the Crisis (1917)

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In the midst of a riot, a fanatic kills the governor, making Barnitz (Charles Perley) the state's leader. The killer is condemned to the chair and Barnitz is torn between allowing the execution to go ahead, or commuting the sentence to life imprisonment. His decision is made when he has a dream that his father (William V. Mong, who also directed) wound up in a similar position. Barnitz realizes that he could never condemn his father to death, so he gives the man life imprisonment -- unfortunately, the killer has a heart attack and dies almost immediately so he receives little benefit from having his sentence commuted. Although sincere in its stance against capital punishment, this melodrama was poorly made. Incidentally, the "girl" in the title was Dorthy Davenport, who plays Barnitz's sweetheart and has very little to do with the plot.