On this day, May 25, 1979, convicted murderer and death penalty cause celebre John Arthur Spenkelink was executed in Florida.
Spenkelink was the second convict after Gary Gilmore to be executed in the country once capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.
Unlike Gilmore, who demanded that his death sentence be carried out, Spenkelink fought his execution, signing his letters, "capital punishment means those without capital get the punishment."
At his execution, Spenkelink, 30, was given two shots of whiskey, gagged, then killed with three electrical jolts.
But because the venetian blinds separating the witnesses were closed for part of the killing, rumors spread that his neck had been broken before his execution.
Spenkelink's body was exhumed for an autopsy, which confirmed that he had died by electrocution.