Saturday, September 03, 2005


On the 21st of April 1992. Robert Harris was the first felon to be executed in California in 25 years.

On the 5th of July 1978 in San Diego, California, Robert and his brother Daniel kidnapped two teenage boys and forced them to drive to an isolated area, where they shot and killed them. They then drove the stolen vehicle to a local bank, put on ski masks, and robbed it for $2000.

The brothers were apprehended at their home in San Diego and taken to the police station for questioning. Daniel Harris told the police his brother had killed the two boys.

On the 6th of March 1979 Robert Harris was found guilty on two counts of murder and sentenced to death. Daniel Harris was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to six years. There were many anti-capitalist punishment protesters who believed that the decision to take a life should not be in the hands of the State.

Garry Gilmore's life of crime began at the age of ten when he started breaking into houses on his paper route in Portland, Oregon. At 14 he was caught in a stolen car and sent to the Maclaren School for boys in Woodland.

From then on the longest stretch he managed to stay out of prison was for eight months. In April 1976 Gilmore walked into a gas station, held the attendant at gunpoint, robbed the cash register, and then shot him twice in the back of the head. The following day he pulled into the City Centre Motel grabbed the cash box containing only $125 and shot the hotel manager in the head.

After his trial and the guilty verdict Gilmore was taken to Utah State Penitentiary to await his execution. Under a unique provision in the State of Utah, Gilmore could choose the manner of his death - hanging or shooting. He chose the firing squad.

His lawyers launched the usual appeals process, but Gilmore withdrew his motion for a new trial and fired his lawyers. He wanted to die. On the evening of the 16th of January 1977, at seven minutes past eight, Gilmore's final wish was granted.

Terry Chasteen and her three children were driving along Interstate 465 in Indiana when a construction truck driver, Steven Judy, signalled her to pull over. He told her there was a problem with her car.

Pretending to mend something under the hood he actually removed a wire from the engine. When the car wouldn't start he offered the young family a lift. He drove them to a deserted spot where he raped and killed Terry and threw each of her children in turn into the icy creek.

Steven Judy had attacked at least once before. At the age of 14 he was diagnosed as a sexual psychopath. When he was found guilty of the murder of Terry Chasteen and her three children, Judy confounded the nation by requesting the death penalty.

The jury wasted no time in sentencing Judy to death. Two years later, on the third of September 1981, Steven Judy was executed.


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