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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber, 329 U.S. 459 (1947)

Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber

No. 142

Argued November 18, 1946

Decided January 13, 1947

329 U.S. 459


Petitioner was convicted in a state court of murder and sentenced to be electrocuted. A warrant for his execution was duly issued. He was prepared for electrocution, placed in the electric chair and subjected to a shock which was intended to cause his death, but which failed to do so, presumably because of some mechanical difficulty. He was removed from the chair and returned to prison; but another warrant for his execution at a later date was issued.


1. Assuming, but not deciding, that violations of the principles of the double jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment and the cruel and unusual punishment provision of the Eighth Amendment would violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment --

(a) The proposed execution would not violate the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. P. 329 U. S. 462.

(b) It would not violate the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. P. 329 U. S. 463.

Page 329 U. S. 460

2. The proposed execution would not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 329 U. S. 465.

3. The record of the original trial, showing the warrant of arrest, the indictment, the appointment of counsel, and the minute entries of trial, selection of jury, verdict, and sentence, contains nothing on which this Court could conclude that the constitutional rights of petitioner were infringed at the trial. P. 329 U. S. 465.


The Supreme Court of Louisiana denied petitioner's applications for writs of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition and habeas corpus to prevent a second attempt to execute him for murder. This Court granted certiorari. 328 U.S. 833. Affirmed, p. 329 U. S. 466.

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