On May 11, 1982, Allen Lee Davis killed a pregnant woman and her two young children. The woman, Mary Weiler, was beaten almost beyond recognition with a .357 magnum that Davis used to hit the woman more than 25 times. The 9-year-old was tied up and shot twice in the face. The 5-year-old was shot as she tried to run away. Davis then beat her skull in with the gun. Davis was arrested and sentenced to death.
On July 8, 1999, shortly after 7 a.m., Allen Lee Davis was put in the new Florida State Penitentiary electric chair to serve out his sentence of death for the senseless crime. But, something went wrong and Davis suffered a nosebleed and burns to his head, leg and groin area before he died.
He roared unintelligibly, twice, after a strap was wrapped tightly across his mouth and his head was covered with a skullcap and hood. After the electrocution lever was pulled at 7:10 a.m., Davis’ back straightened, his hands clenched and his chest seemed to expand. His body came to rest and blood appeared on the front of his shirt. Initially, a red dot appeared in the center of his chest.
The stain slowly grew to a splotch about 8 inches across. His chest heaved repeatedly; he appeared to still be alive. But he was pronounced dead at 7:15.
Witnesses say that after the power to the electric chair was switched off, Davis took 10 more breaths and his chest moved. Protestors were outraged by the incident, to which Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth commented, “People who wish to commit murder, they’d better not do it in the state of Florida because we may have a problem with the electric chair.”