Condemned child-killer Arthur Gary Bishop wants a Weber State College sociology professor who has repeatedly interviewed him as part of a death-row study to witness his June 10 execution.
L. Kay Gillespie said Bishop told him he is one of the five people he will select to watch his death by lethal injection.In addition to five witnesses chosen by Bishop, the Utah Department of Corrections has selected an 11-member news media contingent and several public officials to witness the execution.
Gillespie was kicked out at the last minute as he prepared to witness the execution last August of Ogden Hi Fi killer Pierre Dale Selby because state officials feared his attendance as a prison consultant was not specifically allowed under the law.
But there will be no problem this time - if Bishop puts him on his list and prison officials approve, Gillespie said.
Gillespie said his research contract with the Corrections Department generally prohibits him from talking to reporters about his interviews with death-row inmates and the execution process.
"I imagine they want to keep from sensationalizing it, and it's fine with me," Gillespie said.
He said he entered into the state contract about two years ago. He sought the deal, which carries no financial strings, to research and document the execution process in Utah.
"Basically, it's for my benefit. To my knowledge this has never been done by a criminologist. I'm getting some great information as a criminologist," Gillespie said.
In return, his research will be available for use by the state in reviewing its execution procedures.
Bishop was convicted in 1984 of kidnapping and killing five Salt Lake County boys. Bishop confessed to the slayings, saying he murdered the youths to prevent being exposed as a child-molester.