Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Execution of Jessie Bishop

David Ballard was a 22 year old man celebrating his wedding when he entered into actions that cost him his life.  It was 1977.  He left his wedding reception at El Morocco Casino in Las Vegas, when it was being robbed by gunman Jessie Bishop and tackled him.  Bishop just shot him dead without hesitation.  Bishop was quickly apprehended by Police and put on trial for capital murder.  The State of Nevada had reinstated the death penalty, and two had already met their fate; one Gary Gilmore, then John Spenkelink.  Bishop was convicted and sentenced to death.  Bishop then waived all his appeals, and let justice run its course.  It ended on October 22nd 1979, in Carson City, Nevada.  Bishop, it was said, was "tough as nails" right to the end, as he was strapped into the Gas Chamber.  He smiled as the pellets were dropped into the acid, producing the lethal gas, and minutes later, pronounced dead.  After this, Nevada did away with the Gas Chamber, replacing it with Lethal Injection.

    So who was Jessie Bishop?  He was born 1st March 1933, and spent a total of twenty years in prison for various offences.  Whilst on Death Row, he claimed to have killed 18 people.  Most of them, he said, were over drugs.  It is not known if there is any substance to this claim.  It happens a lot when killers face a whole life stretch behind bars, or face execution.  It is either their last boasts, or try to use it to keep the execution chamber at bay, like Bundy.