DOCKET NO.: 142
DECIDED BY: Vinson Court (1946-1949)
ARGUED: Nov 18, 1946
DECIDED: Jan 13, 1947
Facts of the case
Willie Francis, a 16-year-old black youth, was convicted of murder in Louisiana and sentenced to death by electrocution. On the appointed day, Francis was strapped in the chair and the executioner threw the switch. Electric current passed through Francis’s body but it was insufficient to kill him. The malfunction required a repair of the chair. In the meantime Francis sought to prevent the second execution attempt.
Does the second attempted execution deny Francis due process of law because of double jeopardy guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and because of cruel and unusual punishment of the Eighth Amendment?