Friday, June 18, 2010

Killer executed by Utah firing squad


The US has carried out its first execution by firing squad in 14 years.
Convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner, who had spent 25 years on death row, was executed soon after midnight local time (0600 GMT), after a final appeal had been rejected.
Gardner, 49, chose the firing squad before Utah banned the method in 2004. Critics say it is barbaric, harking back to the Wild West.
Gardner was only the third man put to death in this way in the US since 1976.
He was convicted in 1985 of fatally shooting a lawyer during an attempt to escape from a court where he was facing another murder charge dating from 1984. READ MORE ON BBC


Convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed early Friday by firing squad, the Utah Department of Corrections said.
Gardner, 49, is only the third person in 33 years to die by firing squad in the United States.
He was killed at 12:20 a.m. MST (2:20 a.m. ET), a Corrections Department spokesman said.
A hood was placed over Gardner's head and a paper target pinned to his chest. He was heavily restrained as a five-person firing squad took aim at the target and shot him, witnesses said.
Journalists who witnessed the shooting said it happend quickly. One reporter said she noticed that Gardner moved after he was shot.
"It was over pretty quickly," said Cheryl Worsley, a local radio reporter. "It was cleaner than I expected. It was fast. But he moved. He moved a little bit, and to some degree that bothers me."
Outside the prison in Draper Utah, there was a candlelight vigil attended by members of Gardner's family.
"He did things bad in the past, but now he realizes what he did and he changed the last couple of years," said his granddaughter Darian Gardner, breaking into tears. "I got to know him the last couple of years. It sucks when you have to say goodbye to someone that is like your best friend." READ MORE ON CNN

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