On this date, October 15, 1999, The Rainbow Warrior A.K.A Joseph Mitchell Parsons was executed by lethal injection in Utah. He was convicted of murdering Richard Lynn Ernest on August 31, 1987. I will post information about him from Wikipedia before giving my thoughts. Please go to Unit 1012 Blog to hear from the victim's family members.
Joseph Mitchell "Yogi" Parsons (July 22, 1964 – October 15, 1999) was an American who was executed for the August 1987 murder of Richard Lynn Ernest. Parsons hitched a ride with Ernest in California and stabbed him to death at a remote rest area in Utah. After assuming Ernest's identity, Parsons continued to insist that he was Ernest when he was later arrested.
Parsons, who called himself the "Rainbow Warrior", pleaded guilty to the murder. During his sentencing hearing, Parsons said that he killed Ernest to fend off a homosexual advance, but was unable to present any evidence to support this claim in his defense. The jury sentenced him to death. In 1999, Parsons stated that "it's time to move on" and dropped his appeals, allowing his execution to proceed. Discussion was later raised whether "Rainbow Warrior" was a reference to homosexuality or Parsons' favorite auto racing team.
Parsons chose to die by lethal injection, avoiding the publicity that John Albert Taylor, the previous prisoner to be executed in Utah, sought by selecting the firing squad. Parsons shunned attention and described himself as "Utah's forgotten inmate". His 1999 execution at Utah State Prison was the first to be carried out in a new chamber designed for both lethal injections and firing squads.