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June 18, 2010

Utah completes firing squad execution without any difficulties

As detailed in this ABC News report, which is headlined "Ronnie Lee Gardner Executed by Firing Squad in Utah," an uncommon execution method seemed to go off without a hitch in Utah. Here is how this article begins:

After a quarter of a century on death row, convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed in a barrage of rifle fire Friday morning. He became the first man to die before a firing squad in Utah in 14 years.

At exactly midnight, the 49-year-old inmate who spent more than half his life behind bars appeared calm as he was escorted to the execution chamber at a state prison in Draper. He was strapped to a metallic, winged execution chair; his arms and legs, his head and torso secured tightly. The chair was raised on a small black platform, like a stage.

A team of five anonymous marksmen armed with .30-caliber Winchester rifles, standing just 25 feet away behind a brick wall cut with a gun port, aimed their weapons at a white circular target pinned over Gardner's heart. One rifle was loaded with a blank so no one knew who fired the fatal shots. Asked if he wanted to say anything moments before the shooting, Gardner responded, "I do not, no."

There was no discernable movement in Gardner when the count began. The rifles exploded at 12:15 a.m., with four bullets perforating his heart and lungs. The straps held his head up. A metal tray beneath the chair collected his blood. Gardner was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m.

"Ronnie Lee Gardner will never kill again," Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff later told reporters. "He will never assault anybody again."

June 18, 2010 at 07:57 AM | Permalink


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huh. he might be one of the only death row guys to have consensual sex with a female.

Posted by: . | Jun 18, 2010 1:43:31 PM

Frankly I am too shocked and sickened to comment. The world press have done it for me on this occasion.

Posted by: peter | Jun 19, 2010 3:57:02 AM

Peter: Not a word from the left about his victims.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 19, 2010 8:17:57 AM

He died painlessly and in the way he preferred. Who cares if he died by a gun rather than a needle?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jun 19, 2010 4:20:33 PM

"Frankly I am too shocked and sickened to comment. The world press have done it for me on this occasion."

So what does something really sickening do to you? Were you bedridden for a month when the Rwandan genocide happened? And you must be absolutely devastated over the fate of Gilad Shalit.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 19, 2010 5:11:46 PM

We have five paragraphs about the details of the execution. Could we please see five paragraphs about the details of the murder?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 19, 2010 10:18:52 PM

There were 4 known targets for murder. Three died. The fourth was a prisoner Gardner stabbed in prison. I have not found the risoners name.

Melvyn John Otterstrom

Michael Joseph Burdell.

Nick Kirk

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Jun 20, 2010 7:51:14 AM

No-one denies the offence. There are many factors that should have been taken into account in mitigation but which you and others have and will deny. 25 years of secure incarceration have amply demonstrated there was no practical requirement for his execution. Some jurors suggested they would have voted for a different punishment had it been available at the time of Gardners trial. Some victim's relatives requested that he not be put to death. The manner of his execution is widely regarded as brutal and reminiscent of attrocities in war.
Nothing has been achieved by this action except to mirror the original tragedy by creating new anguish and pain for Gardner's relatives. The cycle of violence has been perpetuated, not a single man will be deterred from similar senseless killing, and society is the poorer for being associated with an immoral act that defies the Commandments of God as understood and accepted by the greater part of religious teaching today. The poverty of compassion and humanity marks this US Judicial system as one of the most reviled and disrespected in the world today. And that from those you would hope to call friends in this still dangerous and divided planet.

Posted by: peter | Jun 20, 2010 4:32:47 PM

You need to learn more about the case. His 'secure incarceration' as you you put it, included the stabbing of another inmate and barricading the visiting room so he could have sex with a female visitor. The murder for which he was condemned was committed during an attempted escape. Otterstram's murder was committed after he escaped from prison where he was doing time for gun charges and an earlier escape.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jun 21, 2010 4:31:11 PM

I am sad that this law has changed. I think this is a better option than the alternatives. I think all the law changes just gets confusing, particularly with Utah corporate law. That is definitely something that I do not want to deal with on my own.

Posted by: Eliza Winters | Jan 18, 2012 1:24:32 PM

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