Executions · Famous Last Words · Utah

Live by the sword, die by the sword

October 31, 1938
Salt Lake City, Utah
John Deering is executed by firing squad for murder

Deering had robbed and murdered a man in May 1938. He agreed to be connected to monitors during his execution; these devices recorded vital signs before, during, and after being shot by the firing squad. Deering’s heart rate reportedly spiked shortly before execution but calmed as he delivered his final words. After being shot, his heartbeat stopped after 15 seconds but other functions, including breathing, continued for some time.

His Famous Last Words were “When I was a kid raising hell everyone told me I’d end up on the gallows, so I thought I’d fool them. Also, there’s an old saying I like: ‘Live by the sword and die by the sword:'”

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