June 13, 1947:
Louis Young was the second black man accused of killing a white or
Hispanic Santa Fe woman to die in the electric chair. Young was a prison
inmate who worked as personal handyman at the prison warden's home which
was near the victim's house. Young confessed to the crime following a
late-night visit to his cell by authorities, though he soon recanted,
saying the confession was forced. Despite efforts by civil rights
organizations throughout the state, Young was executed.
Louis Young, a 47-year-old African American, was
pronounced dead on Friday, June 13th, 1947, at 12:07. Prior
to death, he had walked to the electric chair unassisted, singing the
hymn "Use Me Lord in Thy Service." Upon being seated, he was told by
present clergy to keep singing. His final statement consisted of a
declaration of innocence, and a plea to God for salvation.
Louis Young was executed for the November 19, 1945,
slaying of young mother Eloise Kennedy. He was a penitentiary trustee
serving time for larceny, and was sent to clean the dwelling of New
Mexico State Police Chief Frank Young.
Kennedy lived nearby, and
purportedly refused the trustee’s sexual overture. She was found in her
apartment, her slacks ripped, eleven stab wounds to her body. A bloody
butcher knife from Police Chief Young’s residence was found, and Louis
Young subsequently signed a confession on Thanksgiving Day, 1945.