Skip to comments.Protests 30 years after Gilmore
Posted on 01/17/2007 12:01:02 PM PST by Borges
It was 30 years ago today that Gary Gilmore was strapped to a chair before a firing squad and uttered his famous last words: "Let's do it."
The controversial execution that marked the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States is being revisited in protests at the Utah State Prison this weekend.
"We're mocking it," Terry McCaffrey of the global human-rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday. "It's not that we're glorifying Gary Gilmore. It's time to hopefully bring about healing."
Amnesty International plans to hold a vigil outside the prison Saturday, protesting reinstatement of the death penalty 30 years ago. The group plans to read the names of more than 1,000 people who have been executed since Gilmore as well as their victims.
"We feel it's important because the death penalty started in 1977 at the prison in Utah and it was the first one after the Supreme Court made executions legal again," McCaffrey said. "It's an important date for us to be mocking."
Gilmore, 36, was sentenced to death after being convicted of the murder of Bennie Jenkins Bushnell, a motel manager in Provo. Gilmore also confessed to shooting and killing Max Jensen during a robbery at an Orem gas station.
Gilmore's execution and choice to die by firing squad generated international publicity and international debate over the death penalty.
Currently, there are nine people on death row in Utah. Four of them have elected to die by firing squad, Utah Department of Corrections spokesman Jack Ford said. Those inmates made their choices before Utah lawmakers eliminated the firing squad as an execution option in 2004. Among those participating in Saturday's vigil will be Alan Clarke, a criminal justice professor from Utah Valley State College, and members of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
While here, the head of Amnesty International plans to request a meeting with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We want to open the dialogue with them," McCaffrey said. "I understand what the position of the LDS Church is, but there are areas of common ground."
An LDS Church spokesman declined to comment on Amnesty International's request for a meeting.
While the Catholic Church has been vocal about its opposition to the death penalty, the LDS Church has not taken a formal position.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law," a statement on the LDS Church's Web site says. "We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment."
AKAIK, Gary Gilmore hasn't murdered any more gas station attendants in the intervening thirty years.....
That being said, in some situations due to the prevalence of liberal pardoning governors,liberal activist judges and the absolute heinousness of some crimes, there is no other way to keep society safe.
You left out, escape.
Historically the death penalty has been around at least as long as Moses, and I would suggest much longer.
It sounded like a nice, festive atmosphere.
Thanks for your concern,Terry,but my healing was complete about 30 seconds after your pal drew his last breath.
You are correct. Oops, it escaped my mind.
I thought of it cause we had a case here in our local area where a convicted murdering thug, sentenced to the humane sentence of life, escaped and killed five more people.
I'd rather talk about Artis Gilmore.
Ah yes, mockery usually heals people.
One of the best things you can do after someone loses a loved one is to make fun of the bereaved - and maybe toss in a few jokes about the deceased as well.
I arrived in Florida for a vacation the day after they fried Ted Bundy.It was the top story all over the state.I loved a picture one of the TV stations had which showed a woman holding a sign reading "have a seat,Ted".
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."
Sounds like the Wellstone funeral.
See, I didn't think the fact that it was the first after the SCOTUS allowed the DP that was so important at the time. It hadn't been outlawed for that long -- less than 10 years certainly. I suppose I didn't realize how serious the threat to justice was of having it outlawed at all though.
. . .the last peer executed in England.
Why is it these sh*tbirds never worry about 'the healing', or'closure' for the victim's family?
IMO executions should be public. Let the people who would commit crimes see for themselves what can happen to them.
That being said, the executed will commit no more crimes. The incarcerated can escape, get paroled, or just serve out their sentences (which are at times too short) and return to society to commit more crimes, usually more serious crimes.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.