Just like today, there were some Americans who thought the execution was barbaric while others considered it an act of justice.
The United States Supreme Court first entered the debate on the use of the death penalty on minors in 1947. The case was not about whether it was ok to execute a minor, but did discuss if the way a seventeen year old was executed was "cruel and unusual...
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As the switch was thrown, a malfunction caused the inmate to survive. He was horribly injured, brought back to his cell and again ordered to die the same way. His lawyer asked the Supreme Court to stop the execution. The Court ordered that there was no reason to stop the execution and that a mistake did not make the execution "cruel and unusual...