January 26, 1996 – A day for executions and Grand Jury testimonies.
On this day, the last execution by firing squad took place shortly after midnight, in Draper Utah. The condemned, John Albert Taylor, was convicted of the rape-murder of an 11-year old and was sentenced to die by either lethal injection or firing squad. Taylor chose firing squad and the execution was carried out. Ironically, the day of his execution, the Utah State legislature introduced a bill eliminating the firing squad as a means of carrying out a death penalty.
In other news, First Lady Hilary Clinton was scheduled to make an appearance before the Grand Jury investigating the Whitewater scandal. It was the first time in U.S. history that a First Lady was called on before such a jury to give testimony. Clinton was being questioned over her investments in the Whitewater Development Corporation and monies allegedly borrowed either by her or on her behalf and Rose Law Firm billing records which were thought to be missing, but which turned up in a White House closet. The investigation, one which dragged on for years, was seen as a partisan attempt to discredit the Clinton White House.
And in another part of Capitol Hill, Congress was moving on this day to avert another government shutdown. The Senate was expected to follow the House and send a stop-gap spending bill to President Clinton for his signature. The Republicans were calling it a “down payment on a balanced budget”. The measure fully funded five Cabinet departments and partially funds four others, while terminating 18 programs. And that may prove to be bad news for some government workers. In addition the measure called for restriction of travel by cabinet members, except the Secretaries of Defense and State, the CIA Director and the UN Ambassador and it allowed the sale of some 7 million gallons of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
All that, and so much more for January 26, 1996 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.