In 1946 one of the strangest capital punishment cases in American history occurred. It involved a black 17-year old Louisiana male, named Willie Francis. He was accused of killing a white pharmacist by the name of Andrew Thomas who had allegedly sexually abused him. On May 3, 1946, Francis was given last rites and strapped into the chair. When the switch was thrown, his body tensed and convulsed and the 300-pound chair began to rock and slide on the wooden floor. But something was wrong. “I am not dying!” he screamed. Finally the current was shut down. Francis was unstrapped from the chair and led back to a cell.

It was determined that six months before Francis’s execution date, a drunken guard and inmate had improperly wired the electric chair, causing it to malfunction. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court who ruled that he should be sent back to the electric chair for a second time. Again, Francis went to the electric chair on May 9, 1947, where he died.

Source: Washington Post

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