On March 14, 1957, Burton Abbott's mother, aunt and brother visit him at San Quentin for the last time.
Burton Abbott's execution in San Quentin's gas chamber was set for the morning of March 15. Fifty-eight people attended.
On the morning of Burton Abbott's execution, his attorneys scrambled to delay the execution, trying every legal avenue at their disposal. They were denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. Governor Goodwin Knight was aboard a navy carrier ship, and lawyer George T. Davis said he had difficulty reaching the governor. By the time Davis got through and Governor Knight's secretary reached the warden, it was too late. At 11:18 a.m., sixteen cyanide pellets fell and deadly gas began to rise.
Within hours of his death, Burton Abbott's body was taken to the University of California Medical Center. Abbott had requested that his body be used for medical research. He had been an accounting student at the University of California before his arrest. No memorial services were held.