Funeral services will be Tuesday for former Judge Jay E. Banks, 81, who died Friday, Aug. 28, 1998, at
Cottonwood Hospital after a long illness.The services will be at noon in the Butler 1st LDS Ward chapel, 2700 E. 7000 South, where friends may call from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Mr. Banks, who became legendary in legal circles, served 14 years as a 3rd District Court judge, retiring on his birthday, Sept. 28, 1986.
He was chief criminal deputy in the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office and was elected in 1958 as district attorney. He held that position 16 years before being appointed a judge in late 1972 by then-Gov. Calvin L. Rampton.
"Over the years, (Judge Banks') unique blend of discipline and mercy came into play in some of Utah's most publicized cases," a Deseret News feature story on the judge reads. The story was published Sept. 28, 1986.
During the year before he retired, the judge presided over the case of Ronnie Lee Gardner, the prison inmate convicted of killing an attorney and wounding a bailiff in an escape attempt.
And in the six years preceding the Gardner trial, defendants in his courtroom included child-killer Arthur Gary Bishop, sniper-murderer Joseph Paul Franklin and Marc Schreuder, who was convicted of killing his millionaire grandfather, Franklin Bradshaw, at his mother's request.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of a lieutenant commander.
A recipient of a law degree in 1942 from the University of Utah School of Law, he was considered one of the intellectuals in the law and was recognized as the state's foremost prosecutor. He was an attorney for the Veterans Administration.
In 1962, he prosecuted Jean Sinclair for a love triangle murder and got a conviction. Also, he was the prosecutor in the case of killers Myron Lance and Walter Kelbach, who killed several people in a murder spree during the mid-1960s.
"He was one of my early appointments to the 3rd District bench. I made the appointment shortly before the law was passed establishing judicial nominating commissions, so the appointment was purely my choice. I never had cause to regret it. He was an excellent judge. He knew the law and had a good judicial temperament," Rampton said Monday.
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mr. Banks had served as a gospel doctrine teacher, in a stake Sunday School superintendency and a teacher in youth programs of the church.