Gilmore v. Utah

429 U.S. 1012 (1976)


At a hearing on November 1, 1976, after D had been sentenced to death, on a motion for a new trial, D's attorneys informed the trial court that they had been told by Gilmore not to file an appeal and not to seek a stay of execution of sentence on his behalf. They also informed the trial court that they had advised d of his right to appeal, that they believed there were substantial grounds for appeal, that the constitutionality of the Utah death penalty statute had not yet been reviewed by either the Utah Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, and that in their view there was a chance that the statute would eventually be held unconstitutional. The trial court itself advised Gilmore that he had a right to appeal, that the constitutional issue had not yet been resolved and that both counsel for the State and Gilmore's own counsel would attempt to expedite an appeal to avoid unnecessary delay. D stated that he did not 'care to languish in prison for another day,' that the decision was his own, and that he had not made the decision as a result of the influence of drugs or alcohol or as a result of the way he was treated in prison. Bessie Gilmore, claiming to act as 'next friend' on behalf of her son, D, filed an application for a stay of execution of the death sentence then scheduled for December 6, 1976, four days from the filing. A temporary stay was granted by the Supreme Court. The Court wished to review Utah’s response and transcripts of the hearings. D’s attorneys challenged Bessie’s standing to seek relief on D's behalf. D opposed any stay. D has expressly and repeatedly stated since his conviction that he had received a fair trial and had been well treated by the Utah authorities. D does not claim to be innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. D's only complaint against Utah or its judicial process, including that raised in the state habeas corpus petition mentioned, has been with respect to the delay on the part of the State in carrying out the sentence. The Supreme Court issued a stay.