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History of Utah executions

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utah's Death Penalty history dates back to pioneer days.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utah's Death Penalty history dates back to pioneer days.

Over 40 people were executed in Utah prior to 1976 (most by firing squad), when a 10-year U.S. Supreme Court moratorium was lifted.

Some Utah executions of note prior to 1976 include:
 
John Doyle Lee, executed March 23, 1877 by firing squad for the Mountain Meadows massacre

Wallace Wilkerson, whose May 16, 1879 execution was a botched by a firing squad when he leaped from his chair, unrestrained. He bled to death, since the shooters issed hi heart.

Pat Coughlin, who was executed  on December 15, 1896 by firing squad for killing a deputy sherriff and a constable.

 
Barton Kay Kirkham, executed June 7, 1958 by hanging. Kirkham was the last person to be executed by hanging in Utah.

Since 1976:
 
Gary Mark Gilmore was executed by firing squad on January 17, 1977. Gillmore committed execution style murders of a motel clerk and gas station attendant in separate robberies. His was the first execution in the U.S. following the 1972 moratorium ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first in years by firing squad.

Pierre Dale Selby died by lethal injection August 28, 1987. Selby killed three people in an Ogden Hi-Fi store during a robbery. The victims were made to drink liquid drain cleaner, a female was raped, and then each victim was shot in the head. Two of the victims survived. Three died. The killers kicked a pencil into the ear of one of the survivors, attempting to puncture the brain.

Arthur Gary Bishop died by lethal injection on June 10, 1988. Bishop sexually assaulted and then strangled five boys, ages 4 to 13 years, between 1979 and 1984. He buried three of them in Cedar Valley and threw the other two into Big Cottonwood Creek. Bishop did not utilize all of his appeals.

William Andrews died by lethal injection on July 30, 1992. Andrews was the second Hi-Fi shop killer. The prosecution never proved that Andrews committed any of the murders, and Andrews claimed that Selby fired all the fatal shots; however he was there throughout the entire ordeal and assisted in administering the drain cleaner.

John Albert Taylor died by firing squad on January 26, 1996. Talyor raped and strangled a girl in her Ogden home the day before her 12th birthday in 1989. The girl was home alone at the time of the killing.

Joseph Mitchell Parsons died by lethal injection on October 15, 1999. Parsons brutally stabbed to death a man who had picked him up while hitchhiking near Cedar City. Parsons dumped the body next to the freeway and drove the victim’s car to Fillmore where police later apprehended him.

----Information from: Utah Dept. of Corrections, Wikipedia, Utah History to Go.

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