In 1877, Wallace Wilkerson was an American businessman who was convicted for ending the life of bartender William Baxter. Authorities at the time said Baxter directed a slur at Wilkerson, a devout Morman living in Utah. This angered Wilkerson, and he reportedly shot Baxter. Although Wilkerson maintained his innocence, he received a capital punishment sentence.
Wilkerson tried appealing his ruling multiple times, including at the US Supreme Court. However, justices ruled a firing squad constitutional, and to this day the precedent is used in other capital punishment cases. Before the squad unleashed on Wilkerson, he took a deep breath.
But it wasn’t his last – the executioner’s shots struck Wilkerson, but none fatally. According to news reports at the time, Wilkerson screamed out: “My God! They missed it!” Authorities let him bleed out, but he survived for an agonizing 27 minutes before finally going to meet his maker.