26 January 1996 – John Albert Taylor

John Albert Taylor

Firing squads ceased to be offered as a death penalty method following John Albert Taylor’s execution in Utah in 1996.

Taylor was executed by firing squad in Utah on 26 January 1996 in an alleged sensational bid to embarrass the largely Mormon political population. A commentator at the time said ‘he wanted to cause more trouble for the state’.

Taylor purported that he didn’t want the lethal injection because he didn’t want to flap around ‘like a dying fish’, but many believe it is because he was making a point.

Out dated

You see, the Mormons were desperately trying to phase out firing squads as a method of ‘blood atonement’, ie, a death for a death. It was felt that the execution method was anachronistic – it no longer seemed fitting in the modern day.

Similarly, Utah was keen to stop offering death by firing squad, because it enabled murderers to exit in a blaze of glory.

Cue, paedophile Taylor, who was convicted of the 1988 rape of 11-year-old Charla King who he then strangled to death. His own fingerprints were found on the cord wound tight around the child’s neck, linking him unequivocally to the murder. And in turn, the murder led to his death penalty.

Shot to the heart

Five rifles were used to put Taylor the death and, according to the ‘New York Times’, the shooters apparently took aim at a white circle on his blue jumpsuit, which helped them target his heart.

The execution took place within the confines of the Utah-based prison, but not without controversy. The 36-year-old is currently the last person to have been executed in the United States by firing squad, and the penalty only remains legal in Idaho and Oklahoma.

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7 Responses to “26 January 1996 – John Albert Taylor”

  1. eddiethekid Says:

    I hadn’t heard that Utah abandoned the firing squad. You are correct that Idaho and Oklahoma offer firing squads as an alternative to lethal injection, but the only state since the death penalty was re-instated in 1976 to use firing squads has been Utah, executing Gary Gilmore in 1977 and John Albert Taylor in 1996.

    Troy Kell, the “star” of “Gladiator Days” chose firing squad as his method
    of execution. He has since appealed his death sentence, and if it turns out that Utah has indeed abandoned firing squads, Troy Kell may never be executed because he can accuse Utah of renigging on its agreement to allow him his choice between firing squad and lethal injection.

  2. Tim James Says:

    He was a sick b*****d f**k his point

  3. marvin Says:

    who give you a permission to take somebody life’s ,off course they are killers, and they has to pay for, but not taking their life’s how many killer’s Jesuschrist met, how many prostitute’s, how many theaf’s, how many lier’s , yes but the man doesn’t want to met the one who will give you the forgiveness gift, everyone is a sinner , some of those killer’s iam 100% sure they are in heaven if they repent, i will recomend if you claim you are a christian live as a christian’s not as a pretenders, repent and try to pass the love of God to others is no more eye for eye time, is time to love each other, God bless you. Brother Marvin.

  4. RightyRich Says:

    The Christian values you promote are worthy indeed, but I’m not sure if you could feel the same were it your little girl the monster raped and killed. It is the role of the Church to forgive repentant sinners, it is the role of the state to administer justice. (Justice Department, right?) If criminals were certain they would be put to a swift death should they commit murder or other crimes worthy of capital punishment, is it not a deterrent in their mind to the violent act? I recognise these can be crimes of passion, but if we control not our passions, what are we, animals or brutes? The death penalty should be utilised when necessary, as in this case. If you have a problem with the mechanics of it, you’d better hope no criminal decides to do to you what those deserving of death have done to their victims, because I doubt you carry a gun to defend youself & family. Just call 911 and hope for the best – they probably aren’t too busy when you need ’em. I’ll call 911 when I nned them also, but I’ll have the means to protect myself & my family until Police arrive as well. Good Luck!

  5. Izu Says:

    Many are those that deserve death and we give it to them. Also, many are them that deserve ‘life’ and can we give it to them? Don’t take what you can’t give.

  6. Rather than execution don’t you lot think that life in prison is a worse punishment. Personally if I knew I had to spend the rest of my life in prison I’d try to kill myself as I cannot imagine never breathing free air again.

  7. Death was too good for him. I was childhood friends with Charla, she lived by my grandmother. She was all that her mother had. Her mother has to live with the image of finding her daughter’s body like that for the rest of her life. I cannot imagine the will it would take to go on. I am not necessarily against the death penalty, I just would prefer him to endure some suffering.

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