DRAPER, Utah -- The execution of triple killer Dale Selby Pierre was the first in Utah by lethal injection and the first in the state since Gary Gilmore demanded to die more than 10 years ago.
At 1:02 a.m. Friday, Corrections Department Director Gary DeLand gave the signal to two executioners, separated from Pierre by walls, to inject a series of three chemicals into tubes feeding into veins in the condemned man's arms.
Pierre, 34, a native of Trinidad, West Indies, was pronounced dead 10 minutes later.
He was originally ordered to face a firing squad, but during his 13 years of legal battles, Utah joined other states in adopting chemical injection as an option for condemned convicts.
Pierre and William A. Andrews, 33, Jonesboro, La., were convicted and sentenced to death in the April 22, 1974, torture-murders of three people during a $24,000 robbery of a northern Utah stereo store. Andrews still has an appeal pending before the Supreme Court.
Prior to the use of lethal injection, Utah used the firing squad and the hangman's noose for 45 executions, all involving men.
The execution also was the first in Utah since Jan. 17, 1977, when Gilmore refused to appeal his sentence and was killed by a firing squad for a shooting death during a robbery.