Utah Executes Prisoner by Firing Squad (Update)

Archaic method condemned by society but requested by killer.


Convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner is scheduled to be executed by firing squad tonight, unless he is granted a stay by the governor. Gardner, 49, was sentenced to death for a 1985 capital murder conviction stemming from the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt. He was actually at the court because he faced a 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of bartender Melvyn Otterstrom. Gardner's lawyer says that he requested a firing squad because that's his preference, not because he wanted to embarrass the state or gain media attention. Uh, huh. Well the state should be embarassed for still having this option on the books. Death by firing squad seems cruel and unusual, but we guess like Lola, a killer gets what a killer wants.

UPDATE: Ronnie Lee Gardner becomes the third man executed by firing squad since 1976. A target was pinned over his heart and five marksmen unloaded a hail of bullets early this morning. He was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m.

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