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On May 3, 1946, in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, a seventeen-year-old black boy was scheduled for execution by electric chair. Willie Francis had been charged with murder; his trial had been brief; his death sentence never in doubt. When the executioners flipped the switch, Willie screamed and writhed as electricity coursed through his body. But Willie Francis did not die.
Having miraculously survived, Willie was informed that the state would attempt to execute him a second time within a week. The ensuing legal battle went all the way to the Supreme Court, asking: Could the state electrocute someone twice? A gripping narrative about a brutal crime and its shocking aftermath, The Execution of Willie Francis offers a heroic—and ultimately tragic—tale of one man’s quest for moral justice in a nation still blinded by race.
Posted July 28, 2013
mr king wrote about my family history. willie francis is my great uncle. it broke my heart reading about what he went through. im glad he had people on his sifr. one of the people is mr. ernest gaines. he is still living in louisiana. read the last page of the book. its touvhing
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Posted July 18, 2012