On July 8, 1999, the execution of Allen Lee Davis set off a shock wave that rippled around the world. During his time in the electric chair, Davis bled profusely from the nose and suffered burns to his head, leg, and groin area.

A Look Back at Florida's Messiest Execution

As the switch was thrown, the “Tiny” Davis, who was executed for the May 11, 1982, murder of Nancy Weiler and her two daughters, reared back against the restraints, giving witnesses a chilling glimpse under a black hood designed to hide the faces of the condemned. Blood poured from his vivid purple nose, ran down the wide leather strap that covered his mouth and soaked the white shirt.

After the power was turned off, Davis was still alive. Witnesses said his chest rose and fell about 10 times before he went still.

A Look Back at Florida's Messiest Execution

After the execution, state prison officials and Governor Jeb Bush said the Old Sparky functioned properly. Three photos of the incident have been published on Florida’s High Court official website in an attempt to argue that the practice of capital punishment via electrocution was outdated. The report said that any future executions should be carried out through lethal injection since the Davis execution was not the first to raise questions in Florida about the humaneness of electrocution. In 1990 and 1997, Jesse Tafero and Pedro Medina caught fire in the chair as they were being put to death.

Finally, after the Davis execution, lethal injection was enabled and became the default method. Inmates, however, may still choose electrocution.

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This story originally appeared in this year’s biggest true crime hit 365 Days of Crime.
From the death row inmate who sued the state for botching his execution to a bank robber who gave the cashier his full name and address, 365 Days of Crime is the ULTIMATE true crime treat.


  • Well if it is heartless to say…. so what! I am sure his poor innocent victims went through worse then what he went through, no sympathy. A Mother and two Daughters died by his hands and I am sure they were sacred to death as he was holding them before he murdered them.

  • I don’t care how much he suffered when he was executed. The bastard murdered three people. I don’t think he had their “comfort” in mind.

  • I think all them bastards need to be tortured before killing them,imagine the suffering of their innocent victims,why we should feel sorry for these murderers when they don’t even blink an eyelid while killing

    • Because justice should not ever, ever be about revenge. True justice is about punishing those who did wrong. There is a very big difference between punishment, and torture. If we torture monsters, what does that make us?

  • Exactly! I feel the same way about the death penalty as you do. However, I think this bastard (Allen Lee Davis) deserved it! He is however the only exception. Every other criminal should be given a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years with good behaviour.

  • One of the guys mentioned here turned out to be innocent. So not did he not commit the crime, but he also died a painful death. This is a big reason for why I’m not enthusiastic about the death penalty (even if it is rare). But if we are going to have one, it should be quick and humane.

  • Electrocution at 1800-2400 Volts straight to the head is as instantanious as a micro second… THAT voltage at the correct amps is like a bullet to the brain..in fact it is faster than a bullet… the condemned feels NOTHING… any superficial damage caused as a result of continued application of current, skin burns, nose bleeds due to the intense muscle-reflex pressure, discoloration of skin is nothing more than ‘after-the-fact.’ The condemned is uncontious long before any of these side-effects occur.. people need to remember this or be educated of this FACT…. electrocution in the chair gives the aesthetic appearence of brutality and gore but that’s just part of the ‘show’ and a part that is not connected to death as the individual is already dead… it does however result in a sense of ‘just deserts’ for the victims families… I’m sure Mr Weiller, the husband and father of the three victims brutally slane at the hands of this demon felt much more satisfied after this gruesome spectacle.. I know i would if i were him….

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