|Born||January 12, 1929|
|Died||May 9, 1947 (aged 18)
|Known for||First known incident of a failed execution by electrocution in the United States|
Willie Francis (January 12, 1929 – May 9, 1947) is best known for surviving a failed execution by electrocution in the United States. He was a black juvenile offender sentenced to death at age 16 by the state of Louisiana in 1945 for having murdered Andrew Thomas, a Cajun pharmacy owner in St. Martinville who had once employed him. He was 17 when he survived the first attempt to execute him, as the chair malfunctioned. After an appeal of his case taken to the US Supreme Court failed, he was executed in 1947 at age 18.
I always thought if the hangman fails you got walking papers. Obviously this does not apply to the electric chair. I note he was convicted at age 16 and no insane defense was given. No appeal for his age. I guess they fixed the chair and he got two last meals. Sadly reading about this I am not sure he was guilty. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the execution would never happen today so the time period also played a part.