< Back to Files

Gary Gilmore

More

It was decided that Gilmore would be tried for the murder of motel manager Bushnell, rather than Jensen, as the evidence for the former was far stronger. The prosecutor, Noall Wootton, sought the death penalty, on the grounds that Gilmore was a habitual criminal unlikely to benefit from any attempts at rehabilitation.
Gilmore's trial started on 5th October 1976 and lasted only two days. After the prosecution presented their witnesses, and his confession, Gilmore made an attempt to plead his own case to the judge, but when his defence team pointed out that he had no chance of making an insanity plea, he withdrew his request and resigned himself to his fate. The jury took less than 80 minutes to return a verdict of First Degree Murder.
He was offered a choice of delivery of the death penalty: firing squad or hanging. He chose the firing squad, and the sentence was due to be carried out on 15th November 1976.