The Unforgiven: Utah's Executed Men

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Signature Books, 1997 - Law - 209 pages
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Since the days of "frontier justice" and "blood atonement, " Utah has struggled with issues of capital punishment. Years after the Mountain Meadows massacre, John D. Lee was shot to death seated on his coffin in a theatrical, media-conscious staging, while some fifty other perpetrators went unpunished. Despite pleas for clemency from the daughter of an LDS church president and others, labor reformer Joe Hill was executed, due as much to corporate indignation as to the merits of the case against him.

One of Utah's death row inmates was the first to challenge the constitutionality of his sentence as "cruel and unusual"; another, Gary Gilmore, broke the ten-year, nationwide moratorium on state-supervised executions. Recently William Andrews became the second Utahn to be executed without having committed murder. As Paul Swenson wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune, "This is the kind of stuff that makes you realize why we need Halloween -- because we can't deal with real blood, real death, the ghosts of our actual past."

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Blood Atonement
Mormons and Gentiles
Domestic Strife and Law Officials

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About the author (1997)

Gillespie is a member of the Criminal Justice faculty at Weber State University and former chair of the WSU Department of Sociology.

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