The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
We understand a criminal being remorseful, but begging to die? In 1976, Gary Gilmore was arrested for the robberies and murders of two Utah men. Though Gilmore had spent 10 years in prison before, he had never resorted to murder. Gilmore's case was particularly unusual because at the time of his trial, the death penalty had yet to be reinstated by the Supreme Court. His appeal to be executed was denied multiple times, resulting in three stays of executions and two attempted suicides. (Gilmore was finally executed in 1977 . . . by firing squad no less.) Norman Mailer's 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Executioner's Song considers the life and crimes of Gary Gilmore, the justice system's complicated past with capital punishment, and how one man's inner torment drove him to the extreme.