Execution Turns into Blood Bath: Allen Lee Davis
Allen Lee Davis was born on July 20, 1944. Davis was known in his adult years as one of Americans mass murderers who would ultimately be executed for his role of murdering Nancy Weiler, who happened to be three months pregnant On May 11, 1982, in Jacksonville, Florida.
According to many media outlets, Nancy Weiler who was also pregnant at the time was beaten to the point that no one could truly recognize her. Davis ended up beating her with his .357 Magnum in the face nearly 25 times.
Davis would also be convicted of murdering Weilers two young daughters, Katherine, 5 who happened to be shot as she was running for help and then ultimately had her head beaten with his .357 Magnum and Kristina, 10 who was shot two times in the head.
At the time of these three senseless murders, Davis was out on parole on his armed robbery charges.
Ultimately, Davis would be executed on July 8, 1999.
For Davis’s last meal, he requested and was granted a meal that included the following:
- 32 ounces of Barq’s Root Beer
- One lobster tail
- Half a loaf of garlic bread
- Fried potatoes
- Six ounces of fried clams
- Half pound of fried shrimp
Controversy Over Execution
As Davis’ execution happened, it started becoming a hot topic nationwide. National media started covering the topic of his execution because Davis was bleeding profusely from his nose, while he was being executed in the electric chair on July 8, 1999.
Davis would go on to suffer burns on his groin area, leg, and his head. An investigation into what went wrong during the execution concluded that Davis had a nosebleed prior to them administering that first jolt of electricity.
Davis was prescribed and taking a blood-thinning medication for a health problem that was unrelated to this incident.
But the reports concluded that the electric chair that was used to perform the execution was working properly and that the Florida Supreme Court still allowed electrocution as a means of the death penalty.
But there was a dissenting justice that would then publish the photos of what the aftermath of this execution looked like. The entire point of the photos being published was to state that the electrocution method used for the death penalty was old and outdated and that all new executions should be administered with a lethal injection.
In 1999, Florida was hearing a petition from Thomas Harrison Provenzano, who was also a death row inmate, that stated the use of the electric chair was not only a cruel punishment, but it was also an unusual punishment.
After all the debates, petitions, and hearings, Davis would end up being the last Florida death row inmate to be executed using the electric chair.
Since the year 2000, all executions were carried out using the lethal injection method. However, in the state of Florida death row inmates can still opt-in to be executed by electrocution.
However, as of today, Wayne C. Doty was the only Florida death row inmate that opted in to be executed by electrocution.
Right after Allen Lee Davis execution, there was another execution going to take place, but with Davis execution taking a turn for the worse the Florida Supreme Court delayed the execution for a few days until the reports came back as to what happened.
Davis execution was the first execution within the most recent history in the state of Florida that sparked a few questions about the way the state executes their death row inmates.
The court allowed Allen Lee Davis defense attorney, Thomas Provenzano time to gather his arguments on how the electric chair was not working properly and how the use of it was highly unconstitutional. This hearing would be delayed until September 14, 1999.
Both prison and state officials stated that the electric chair was in proper working order and they did an autopsy on Allen Lee Davis. The autopsy would conclude that the blood, which by the end of the process was as large as a dinner plate, was ultimately from him having a nosebleed.
However, Provenzano stated that the evidence he had showed that the voltage the prison officials were administering were far too low than what they should have been.
However, the state and prison officials stated that just a single drop of blood below his breastbone was on his shirt prior to them administering a minimum of 2,3000 volts of electricity.
However, witnesses state during that early morning execution that they believed that the blood came from his chest underneath his t-shirt and not from his nose. But the prison doctor, Victor Selyutin stated that Davis was officially pronounced dead just 10 minutes after the start of the execution. Selyutin also stated that the blood appeared to have come from just an ordinary nosebleed.
Unfortunately, the prison officials declined any interviews for Selyutin.
However, an autopsy, which Davis himself requested prior to his execution, would find blood in both of his nostrils and some on his upper lip, but none on his chest.
William F. Hamilton, medical examiner of Gainesville discovered blood on his shirt along with a burn ring on his shaven head and on his calf.
Hamilton also observed burn marks on his upper thigh and his lower torso. The cause of death was by electrocution.
Davis Was on Blood Thinners
Selyutin did state that Davis was on a heavy dose of two well-known blood thinners: Motrin and Aspirin for Davis’ arthritis. However, Davis also was diagnosed with high blood pressure as well.
Prison officials would state that the previous wardens would witness other inmates having nose bleeds while in the electric chair. But the prison officials would not name exactly which wardens observed this.
Gene Morris, the prison spokesman stated that he never seen blood on any of the 15 death row inmates he executed in the eight years he was with the Florida Department of Corrections.
Davis execution would play out in front of four rows of witnesses that only a layer of glass separated them. John Weiler sat among these witnesses. John was the husband and father of Nancy and the two girls that were brutally murdered back in 1982.
Davis Arrived in a Wheelchair
Davis always argued that using the electric chair to execute him would be a painful way out. Mainly since Davis weighed over 300 pounds, to be exact. Davis would end up screaming just two times prior to the electric volts would run through the piece on his head.
Davis would be pushed in a prison-issued wheelchair into the execution chamber. Davis freshly shaved head would be glistening in the room light with gel. He would look at the witnesses through the layer of glass, but the entire time he would show no emotion.
Davis would need four prison guards to lift him from his prison-issued wheelchair onto the electric chair where they would buckle him up using thick leather straps for his arms, chest, and waist.
While sitting in the electric chair, Davis would still show no emotion. Davis would just watch the prison guards remove all his shackles from his ankles and strap him into the electric chair. The prison guards would then have to roll up his right pant leg, which would show off his shaved calf.
The only time Davis would show off any sort of emotion was when the prison guards started attaching the electrodes to his right leg.
Davis Had No Last Words
James Crosby, who was the prison warden at the time, questioned Allen Lee Davis if he wanted to say any final words.
All Davis did was shake his head no.
Then the prison guards would then place the chin strap over his mouth. The chin strap is a wide leather band that ends up covering all the lower half of Davis face. This is when Davis forehead and cheeks started to be reddened.
Then the prison guards would place the headpiece onto Davis freshly shaven head. The headpiece came equipped with lethal brass electrode, which is ultimately placed onto his head. After that is put in place, they place the black mask over that that covers his eyes.
However, while all this is being done, there is a prison official that is talking to Jeb Bush, Florida Governor seeing if there are any last-minute stays. However, there is none.
The prison official will give the executioner the okay to start the process. The executioner in this execution was paid in cash $150 to perform this task.
When the executioner got the okay from the prison official, Davis started deeply breathing prior to letting out two very muffled yells.
Then the executioner turned on the electric chair and everyone watched as Davis body was jerking around in the electric chair.
Suddenly, you can start seeing a steady trickle of blood appearing on Davis shirt near his chest.
This is when prison officials within the execution chamber would look at each other with wide eyes as the bloodstain on Davis shirt started getting bigger. None of the prison officials could move because they were so scared.
The blood would continue to trickle onto the holes of the buckle, on his shirt, and even the leather restraints.
The executioner would start administering the electrocution at 7:05 and would end at 7:07. When the executioner stopped administering electrocution to Davis, the prison medical staff would go over to Davis to find his pulse. Davis at this time would have his chest convulsed and he even shuddered.
Then a prison medical staff would unbutton Davis’ bloodstained shirt to use a stethoscope and officially would announce his death at 7:15 am. At this point, the bleeding had subsided.
Davis Took Three Lives
Davis execution would be just 17 years after he was convicted and sentenced to death for the heinous crimes of murdering Nancy Weiler and her two girls while trying to rob their Jacksonville home.
Governor Bush stated that any and all sympathy during the execution of Davis should not be directed towards Davis himself, but to the families and friends of the Weiler family as they have waited for this moment of justice for almost 2 decades.
The prison officials stated that during the week leading up to Davis execution, all Davis would do is sleep and read. Davis did not say much of anything during this time. During the week leading up to his execution, Davis was to be put on death watch. Death watch is where a prison guard will be sitting in front of Davis cell for a 24-hour period.
Susan Cary, a Gainesville attorney stopped to meet with Davis just a few hours prior to his execution and she stated that he finally resigned that he would be executed by the electric chair.
The night prior to Davis execution, Davis would be in constant contact with his brothers, Richard and Bruce Davis and his own attorneys. Davis also had a meeting with Donald Spence, the Florida State Prison chaplain.
Up Until the Last Day Davis Was Taking Medicine
Davis was able to joke with Cary about the prison guard coming to his cell approximately at 8 pm to give him his nightly medication for his arthritis and high blood pressure. Cary stated that the pair laughed at the fact that the prison was still concerned about his health even though he would be executed in a mere eleven hours. Cary did state that she found it strange and bizarre incident with the medicine given.
Davis would wake up even before the sun starts rising. Davis would enjoy his final meal just before 4 am. Prison officials would state that Davis even made sure to leave nothing on his plate, including the condiments. He polished off everything on his plate quickly.
He would have a few hours to himself before the prison officials would wheel him down to the execution chamber a few minutes to 7 am.