2nd Attempt At Electrocution, After First One Fails, Not ‘Cruel And Unusual’

1947

In Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber, the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to find it “cruel and unusual” punishment to electrocute a condemned prisoner a second time, after a first attempt failed (due to a malfunction of the electric chair). The Court concludes that the suffering due to a mechanical error is not enough to make that method of execution “cruel and unusual.” The Court finds that there was no intention to increase the prisoner’s suffering beyond whatever suffering naturally occurs during electrocution.