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(Original Caption) Provo, Utah.: Condemned killer Gary Gilmore, gaunt and pale on the 13th day of a hunger strike, is led into Utah County Courthouse. Fourth District Judge J. Robert Bullock ordered him to be shot at sunrise Monday.
Why Gary Gilmore Chose To Be Executed By Firing Squad
History - Science
Gary Gilmore only lived to be 36 but was jailed for 18 of those years. Gilmore had been locked up for years for an armed robbery charge; however, shortly after his release Gilmore walked into a gas station and killed 24-year-old employee Max Jensen, followed by motel manager Bennie Bushnell the next night.
Once arrested, Gilmore quickly admitted to the murders, and he was convicted and sentenced to death. When he was presented with the option to die by hanging or firing squad, Gilmore picked the latter because he believed it was a "dignified" way to go, saying, "I've simply accepted the sentence that was given to me," adding, "I've accepted sentences all of my life."
On January 17, 1977, Gilmore was strapped to a chair and five riflemen proceeded to shoot him four times in the heart — one of the rifles was loaded with a blank cartridge so that the executioners wouldn't know for certain who had contributed to Gilmore's death. His haunting last words were "Let's do it."