June 14th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Utah denies clemency for man set to die by firing squad

Moving a Utah death row inmate one step closer to his scheduled execution by firing squad early Friday, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole on Monday refused to commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, a board spokesman said.

Read the ruling (PDF)

The board held a two-day commutation hearing for Ronnie Lee Gardner at the Utah State Prison on Thursday and Friday. During that hearing, Gardner and defense attorney Andrew Parnes argued he is a changed man who regrets killing two men in two separate escape attempts in 1984 and 1985. But Assistant Attorney General Thomas Brunker pointed to Gardner's "long history of relentless violence."

Gardner, 49, is set to die just after midnight Friday for the death of attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt at a courthouse in Salt Lake City.

More than two decades after he killed two men in separate escape attempts,  Gardner swears he is a changed man with a dream to help keep teens from making the mistakes he did.

But, in arguments Friday before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Brunker suggested he had a more selfish motive.

"This sounds to me like somebody who wants to save his life," Brunker said.

KSTU: Man will die by firing squad

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Filed under: Justice
soundoff (429 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Of course he was selfish about teaching teens, He doesnt want to die. Its a pretty sick world we live in.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynne

      I believe following through with the death penalty sends a much stronger message to teens out there that our Justice System means business!!! His brother plans on opening a farm for troubled teens, and that is a good thing, now send the message that if you commit a crime you will pay. Sometimes with your life. An eye for an eye. And I don't want to hear one more time that its inhumane!!! What about the lives he took? That's not inhumane?!?!? Give me a break. Enjoy your last meal Ronnie Lee!

      June 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Line him up. Twice he made that decision, if he gets out, he will make it a third.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • GC

      Ill tell you what is sick my friend, the fact that the legal system in this country has kept this SOB around for over 20 years. The taxes of folks like yourself and me take care of people like him while due process keeps his butt alive. China, now theres a country with a true system of due process: Stab ten children in a school on monday, a bullet in your head on friday. In America, that guy would stick around for 20 years before he tries to convince the court that he is a changed man. I love America, but we have to work on making our legal system more efficient, less redundant, and provide a process that truly intimidates people from commiting crime, instead of lookingforward to 20 years of a meal, change of clothes and a bed.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • GD

      Lets use a rope then we can recycle it. Shouldnt waste the money on a bullit.....

      June 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Lynne,
      What kind of message does it convey to teens? Certainly not deterring crime. We've given capital punishment a shot to demonstrate if it has an impact on others by reducing murder rates. It clearly does not. I agree that it's wrong what he did. However, our society is no better than him when we sponsor ending a life. An eye for an eye makes us blind.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sockmonkey

      It is rather a dubious coincidence that once Mr. Gardner finally realized that his number was up in regards to his execution date he now professes that he is a "changed man" and that he does not deserve to die. Sorry but, you had your chance a very long time ago to attempt to make amends for your various crimes, or to at least show some remorse (even though it would probably be staged). The bottom line: No more appeals, your number is up, the State of Utah wants and will get its justice, so you shold reflect on what your last words will be.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • AT

      Agreed with GC! It is totally insane that people who are in jail/prison have better lives than people who live outside prison walls. Prisoners live better than homeless people. It almost makes sense to do a petty crime and have the system take care of you for X amount of years.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kashmir

      what was he in jail for before the escape attempts?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      Put the execution on Pay per View and use the fund for the victum's family and to help teens stay off the streets

      June 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      He should have been shot twenty years ago and it would have saved the state big bucks, that's the real injustice. he did not care when he committed murder, I am glad they did not reverse thier decision – shoot him today

      June 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Eat lead for your last meal Ronnie Lee.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jargontalker

      Your right GC, but China's been around for centuries and we've been around for 234 years. Eventually we'll get it right.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      I would not have the electric chair. I would have an electric coach. Three at a time...then....next! The State does not execute people, they execute themselves. They do this by knowing there is a death sentence. Then, should they choose to go ahead with murder, they are fully aware their actions will be met with consequences brought on by their own actions. Not really that difficult a concept to understand. Nor enforce.

      June 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • romanst

      When I am reading the posts of most of the commentators I feel like I am using a time machine back into the past. How cruel and primitive at times must have been our ancestors. To their excuse: they probably did not know better. Happily ALL of the western world together has abolished the death penalty for good. You are on the wrong side of history, but time will take care of that problem and eventually you will of course follow suit. Disgusting.

      June 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • mananadg

      Fellow Americans,

      We must not forget the fact that we are talking about ending a human life here. It makes us no different from Ronnie Lee Gardner when we seek enjoyment and satisfaction from his death. He is paying with his life because justice needs to be delivered but as humans we must respect a life.

      And to the folks who are talking about swift justice, have you ever imagined the case where an innocent man would be executed for crimes he did not commit. We all know America has had a fair share of wrongful convictions. Current system allows and provided a plenty of buffer if such mistakes are made. I know, I wouldn't want a murder of innocent man on my hands would you?

      June 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alf

      He should have been executed after his first escape attempt/murder of a guard.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Regardless of how it is carried out, the man recieved a death sentance 20YEARS ago. The average cost to support an individual in prison is 45k a year. Over 20 years that adds up to 900k. This includes 3 square meals a day, the electricity to power his lights for the luxury of reading, water to make sure he has clean linen- something homeless veterans don't even have the luxury of having, and various other luxuries such as gym equipment. Please tell me why after he committed murder not once, but twice, while trying to run from the responsibility of the actions that landed him in prison, he should have the RIGHT to this kind of treatment. I'm 25, married, with a CAREER, and we are barely making do in this economy, while this leach lives of of our taxes!! I don't care about all the liberal hippy opinions. I say shoot him like the stray rabid dog he is.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Regardless of how it is carried out, the man recieved a death sentance 20YEARS ago. The average cost to support an individual in prison is 45k a year. Over 20 years that adds up to 900k. This includes 3 square meals a day, the electricity to power his lights for the luxury of reading, water to make sure he has clean linen- something homeless veterans don't even have the luxury of having, and various other luxuries such as gym equipment. Please tell me why after he committed murder not once, but twice, while trying to run from the responsibility of the actions that landed him in prison, he should have the RIGHT to this kind of treatment. I'm 25, married, with a CAREER, and we are barely making do in this economy, while this leach lives of of our taxes!! I don't care about all the liberal hippy opinions. I say shoot him like the stray rabid dog he is

      June 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LilRdVet2

      John, the reason the death penalty is not a deterrent is because we allow them to go unpunished for 20-30 years before we carry out their punishment...if we carried it out in a timely manner (less than 5)...AND made them public...trust me...it would make a huge impression!

      June 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Somethought

      At $120,000 per year excluding legal costs and inflation, we have paid at least $2,400,000 to hold this man in jail. I am all for making 99.99% sure we have the right person convicted of a crime involving an irrevocable penalty (death) but I would hope we could complete that work in 2 years. Maybe if we stopped putting nonviolent drug offenders into prison and legalized most drugs we could clear out the constant flow of cases into our justice system. The war on drugs just like the war on alcohol has been a disaster on everyone.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marvin

      I think we can sum this up pretty easy. There is an old saying for pulling the wool over someone's eyes – in this case the American People – for the first time Shame on you – the second time shame on me – and let it be known there will not be any shame to prevent the third time by Firing Squad!

      June 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adios!

      Good riddance.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      To those of you who are saying that the death penalty was abolished because it is not humane, think about the fact that it costs far more to kill a man then it does to keep him in prison. Look at how long it took for this guy's number to come up. It wasn't because the justice system thought he should stay in jail that long, it's because he was in court over and over. Millions are spent on these.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      This is why corporal punishment is superior to capital punishment. In my opinion, it's a greater deterrent and the consequences of a wrongful conviction are not nearly as dire. Unfortunately, our eighth amendment makes this more practical system of justice nearly impossible.

      June 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ralph

    I believe the sentence is just and merciful to Mr. Gardner. It gives him the opportunity to give up what he took away from others.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      That doesn't mean we shouldn't judge. It just means that we must be prepared to be judged the same way we judge. If I kill two people I'll accept the firing squad as my punishment.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Living the Dream

      Easier said than done.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • What he took from another

      Taking from him what he took from another is call revenge. It's cheaper to keep criminals in prison than to execute them.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      No it isn't, the cost of 5 bullets is pretty cheap.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Merciful? Please go look up the definition of that word in the dictionary. Some of the synonyms you'll find include kind, clement, forgiving, and benignant. Hardly descriptors of the decision that was made in this case.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ok!

      BINGO!

      June 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      @anon: The sentence is death. Merciful is an adjective being applied to how it is carried out. And in the case of a firing squad, lethal injection or electric, it is usually far more merciful than what these animals themselves did when commiting their crimes.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • kayaker247

      In my opinion, a bullet in the head is just punishment for shooting & killing three people in cold blood. The state should have put a bullet in him before it got the three. We can't have animals like this breathing our air. Put him down.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stan the Man

    Over 20 years at what price to keep him breathing? Do not wast the price of a bullet, just lock him in that cell for 30 days with no food or water and then release him.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      Wouldn't that be great to torture him!? Oh to see the pain in his eyes.. and to hear him begging for mercy as he suffers his last moment.
      I'm stunned by how many people WANT to commit some evil act to a complete stranger because they feel that stranger did something evil. If the family wanted to shoot the guy, well.. ok. Fine. If it helps them. (Would it really?). But why do complete strangers have any interest, much less sick fantasies about the death of another? I really do think that hate breeds hate.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jwats1973

      @ Tad Pole, I would like to have him off the planet, and not on the tax roles. Nothing evil about it. His death will result in one less murderous (evil) person on earth, It will further serve as a deterrent for future murders he could possible commit.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      Tad Pole: I think you're forgetting something, many do. The justice system is not there for the victim or the families of the victim. The laws of our justice system are for the People, by the People. Justice is not revenge, there is a distinct difference. He chose to commit the act of murder on two separate occasions. He can be sorry for his crimes until he's blue in the face, but you can't un-shoot a bullet. You can't un-ring a bell. He can be sorry to God when he gets there.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Stan the Wacko Man is more like it. This guy did the crime and now he's going to pay. No point into turning Utah into North Korea in the process.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wolivere

      @jwats1973

      If Capital punishment worked, then why has the act of Murder not vanished? Why is it the US still has some of the highest murder rates in the world???

      Easy Capital Punishment is not a deterent. It does not work, all it does is add to our lust for revenge and violence.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      As sick as it is, there is something psychological in some people that draws them closer to the murderer than to the victims and their families. It's a psychological attachment, and a sense of feeling sorry for the murderer, not the victims, Just shoot the SOB.

      June 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capital punishment big time deterrent

      To: Wolivere
      Of course Capital Punishment is the ultimate deterrent, name one person who went through Capital Punishment and has committed another crime? NONE. It is the prefect deterrent and/or rehabilitation. It has yet to be recorded that anyone criminal going through capital punishment at any location at any time, has ever committed another crime.

      So YES, if they would have carried out the first sentence, the second person would not have been killed.

      June 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      To: Wolivere
      "Highest murder rate in the world"??

      The US is pretty far down the list:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

      June 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ixxixxi

      He's a good man Stan 😉

      June 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • FangFoom

      @Jeremy – hey buddy stop being such a stickler for words. why did that even matter? he said "Some" of the highest rates in the world.. not "The" highest rate in the world. pay attention to the subject at hand

      June 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    25 years on death row. Sad it takes so long.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgc6288

      As an advocate for capital punishment, I'm also for the rights of the non-guilty. It seems that multiple decades worth of appeals is a "waste" but when a man is released due to DNA then that changes the perspective of time. So let a few rot and wait when in turn a few non-guilty will be eventually released.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3SG

      It takes time to assort things out, and such process must be lengthy. I'm against the death penalty and against life in prison without the possibility of parole, but I do recognize that, at least, we ought to avoid "hasty" justice claims because there is no "undoing" if someone is wrongfully executed.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      "I'm against the death penalty and against life in prison without the possibility of parole"

      So you're saying that no matter what kind of crime a person commits, no matter how heinous, they deserve freedom at some point? Punishment is meant to deter others from committing a crime. If punishment isn't harsh (I'm all for the death penalty), what's to stop someone from committing murder?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      to 3SG..... if you're against capital punishment and you're against life in prison without the possibility of parole, exactly what do you suggest for this vermin who took at least two other people's lives? I don't think he asked them what they believed in before he killed them? I am against paying for this guy to continue to breathe air!

      June 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter N

      To 3SG: that would be fine, if the person that got murdered could be brought to life. But i'm sure he doesn't have a choice in the matter, now does he?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gail

      john, God does not get mad!!!! remember, he gave his only begotten son. we are all God's creation, but he forgives us for our sins if we repent. this man simply suffering the repercussions of a crime he comitted-which is the death penalty.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      @Gail... uhhhhhh... yeah God does get mad. When they executed his only begotten son, did you not read the parts about him causing the earth to tremble, tearing a veil from top to bottom, etc? He would've tore this earth a new one if it weren't for his son choosing to go through with the punishment... @everyone else, I say shoot the man. I'm jealous that my state doesn't have the firing squad... And we gave up ol' sparky a few years ago. Now it's just lethal injection... blaaaahhhhh...

      June 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BadBrains

    Ronnie Lee Gardner is a defective human being. Its long past time to send him back to the manufacturer.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Perfect!

      June 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark C

      Perfectly plagiarized from the interview with the former executioner, also on CNN.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      Lighten up, pal. This isn't an essay contest, it's an opinion forum. That comment was as appropriate now as it was when that guard said it.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      Sending him back to the manufacturer ? God makes defective things all the time !

      Returning him to the manufacturer ? God, if one believes in him, made lots of defective things. Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and murderers are all his fault.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Independentwith brains

      Haha!!! Great post!!

      June 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    Judge not lest ye may be judged, for the judgement ye judge you shall be judged. Firing Squad? That is very inhumane, with respect to the mans guilt, no one questions that, but life in prison with our parole would be sufficient.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bamakitty

      he chose the firing squad.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lulzmacher

      Not only did he choose the firing squad, it can be argued that it is MORE "humane" than lethal injection.
      Firing 4 rifle rounds into a man's heart, rupturing it into pieces is a guaranteed death. Quick, and likely without ANY pain.
      Lethal injection? A painful cardiac arrest that is only "humane" due to the fact that the "patient" is knocked out with anesthesia first... and many people have different tolerances to anesthesia. Note that with the fact that even if the anesthesia might not work, the paralysis drug (probably) always will. Even professionals get the amounts incorrect at times. Not to mention the prisoner might have an aversion to being injected, or needles. So they get the fright of the THREE needles, then a possible cardiac arrest while paralyzed, instead of sitting, blindfolded, and suddenly being knocked out after what feels like a quick slap to the chest.

      So you tell me, which would you rather have?

      June 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      He chose the firing squad.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • AustinBaby

      I have no desire to spend more money on keeping this killer alive. All you people who want to keep people locked up until they die make me so mad. Have you ever thought that just MAYBE these people could escape, or get parolled? Why risk having a dangerous person on the street when he was convicted and admitted to doing it? I don't understand giving someon the death penalty then not going thru with it. Now you know why it isn't deterring anyone from murdering people. Just follow thru.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      How is opposing executing this guy caring about him more than the victims? Last I checked, killing him doesn't bring them back. They're dead, that's over, nothing can be done about it. That sucks, but that's the reality, and this guy probably DESERVES to die. I agree.

      But, it's absurd to say that it's preferring him over them to say you don't want to kill him. Again, they're dead, what good does kililng him do for them? If he can really make a real difference for the better for society if he stays alive, is it not a better tribute to his victims to keep him alive, and give him the chance he never gave them?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark C

      *** instead of sitting, blindfolded, and suddenly being knocked out after what feels like a quick slap to the chest. ***

      Quick slap to the chest? Could you be a bigger idiot? Destroying your heart does not result in immediate unconsciousness, and having a giant hole blown in your chest certainly does not feel like a "quick slap." What sort of fantasy world for imbeciles are you living in?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      It's not inhumane. And it's wrong to ask us to continue to feed and house him until he dies a natural death.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      Sam, you're about two fries short of a happy meal. This guy would rip your head off and display it on a post while eating his Cheerios in the morning and you'd just let him skip merrily along. "Oh well, they're dead punishing you won't bring them back...off you go, don't do it again"

      Flower picking, sap suckling, pacifistic (aka future victim).

      June 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Know it

      Just consider it this way, by going through with the firing squad, you are effectively giving him a one-way ticket to a Higher Court of Appeals. 🙂

      June 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MADDY

      KEVIN, AS YOU SAID,"LIFE IN PRISON WOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICENT, BUT LIFE FOR THE VICTIMS WOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICENT IF THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN A CHOICE, BUT HE CHOSE TO END THEIR LIVES AND NOW A JURY HAS CHOSEN TO END HIS LIFE. AIM AND PULL THE TRIGGER ITS DONE WITH

      June 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Booley Booley

      Sam – Executing this guy sure won't bring back the dead. It may however make a troubled teen think twice before pulling the trigger and killing someone. The execution won't bring back the dead but it may keep someone from dying at a later date. Even if his death only saves ONE life down the road, I'd argue that the life saved is more valuable than his life.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bostonian

      let's ask the family of the decendents, if letting him eat, drink and breathe is sufficient

      June 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      yes, Kevin life in prison would be good for him , at a cost of over $ 50,000.00 per year to taxpayers , as soon as you write a check ( and it clears ) they can reverse the death penalty decision

      June 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Davidloc

    I guess he must be a little nervous now that he knows he is going to get ventilated for acting lick an animal 20 years ago. Why would you want anyone like him even close to kids to straighten them out ? They should offer him the option of death by pellet gun firing squad though just to show that the state isn't heartless !!!

    June 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James

    20 years of tax payers dollars...how many millions... as soon as the death sentence is handed down execute them.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      Well considering for every 10 people executed in the last 30 years, 1 person is exonerated from death row, I don't think that would be a great idea. I am not in favor of killing innocent people. Im not saying this guy is innocent at all, but if we are talking about the death penalty in general, I think those statistics mean its safe to assume that 10% of the over 1200 people executed in the last 30 years were innocent. Sad.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      As there are way more people on death row than people actually executed that statistic in no way implies that 1 in 10 people executed are innocent.

      June 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Casey , where did you get those numbers 1 for every 10

      June 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      While I'll admit it is an exaggeration to assume 10% of the people on death row would be innocent, I think it is POSSIBLE, and I hate for even 1% of people executed to be innocent. The 1200+ executions is general information, but I got it from clarkprosecutor.org. And the exoneration # is from deathpenaltyinfo.org. I have seen numbers ranging from just above 100 to in the 130's.

      June 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. davec

    On Friday evening the state of Utah will commit the act of murder.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dutchala

      No, he will be executed by law.....but call it what you will.......he will pay for his crime.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Good for Utah!

      June 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSUNikki

      To feel pity for this POS is not worth any effort. He's an "oxygen thief" and doesn't deserve to breathe another breath on this planet. It is not murder, but justice. He was the one that committed the murder in 1984 & 1985 to attempt to escape the punishment of his other crimes against humanity. I say good riddance and let God sort his soul out.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Actually, had you read the article is says after "midnight Friday". That would be Saturday morning, not "Friday night".

      June 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mae

      You call it murder, we call it punishment!

      June 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark C

      *** Actually, had you read the article is says after "midnight Friday". That would be Saturday morning, not "Friday night". ***

      Actually, moron, it's Friday morning.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Scott, YOU need to re-read the article yourself. It's actually EARLY FRIDAY MORNING, so that's just after midnight Thursday night..... I don't believe they do executions on weekends because of the closure.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • davec

      I will make sure I leave the state that night.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lesa

      And if other states would follow suit, there would be less crime! I am all for capital punnishment, if you do a crime, you should expect to be severely punished! I think they should bring back public executions, it will give people something to remember if they think of doing a crime. I know if I watched someone get hanged or shot in public, I would certainly not want to do anything to cause myself to be the one being punished! That's the problem with society today, there is no punishment for any wrong doing. Prison is a slap on the wrist, you get 3 meals a day, cable tv, exercise, hey why not go to prison rather than being homeless! Personally, I love my freedom and unfortunately prisoners are given more rights then they deserve! If you are big and bad and kill someone for "fun" then you should be the subject of public humiliation and be in front of a firing squad or hanging from a tree downtown for everyone to see! I don't feel sorry for these losers, they chose their own path in life, there is always right and wrong and it's always your choice!

      June 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Davec – your emotions don't change the definition of a word. Murder is the unlawful killing of a person. The death sentence is legal in Utah. Therefor, carrying out a death sentence is not "murder."

      June 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • hstockwell

      You are correct. Even though it's law (unfortunately), it's legal. His death certificate will read "Cause of Death: Homicide".

      Whether legal or not, it's still murder.

      June 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zippity

      Here's some more fodder for discussin. Does midnight refer to the day preceding or following it? Train schedules list times as "midnight Friday/Saturday" so people will know they are referring to the 12:00 that occurs between those two days. Is there such a thing as 12 A.M. or P.M. since those abbreviations mean before noon and after noon respectively. "Noon" and "midnight" are neither before or after noon just as "zero" is neither positive or negative. Would anybody say "12:00 afternoon" when referring to midnight? So, using this article as our only source of info, no one really knows when the execution will take place. However, I probably concur with those who say "Friday morning" since it is typically a work day.

      June 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eyes Open

    This is a story with a happy ending. Extra happy ending because he now gets to countdown the hours and minutes until his last breath. How scary that must be but, he choose his fate many years ago. No one forced him to kill.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. davec

    Utah is teaching us that the way to solve problems is to kill.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dutchala

      It won't solve all of them, but it will solve this one!

      June 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jumbo

      As they should be

      June 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      That's correct, Mr. davec. And I hope people pay close attention to the lesson, especially that crime has consequences.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yep, at least for THIS case.
      In TWO separate escape attempts he killed.
      That shows he is incorrigible. He clearly cannot be rehabilitated.
      The difference between the state and him is that HE was given the full measure of law.
      Trial, appeals, further appeals.
      Now he gets his appeal wish. To teach teens by his example:
      Repeatedly murder and you die.
      I sincerely doubt he'll repeat his crimes after Saturday!

      June 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waffles

      Problem solved!

      June 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Booley Booley

      No, they are teaching the citizens of Utah that there are severe punishments for killing.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Davec – you have obviously not had your life "touched" by one of these maniacs. I would love it if the maniac who "touched" my life would be gone forever. I do not want them to even have a shred of a chance to do what they have done to me to anyone else. I am not related to the person who was killed but related to the killer. These people have no regard for human life and should never be given the chance to hurt ANYONE again. What if it was your child or your parent or your friend who lost their life because one of these people got out for whatever reason. Are you seriously willing to risk the safety of your family and friends? I doubt it so hop back up on your almighty horse and leave the state of Utah and go live in Canada where there is no death penalty.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      your tree called ,it misses your hugs

      June 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chiguest

    Will someone please add up all of my tax dollars we have spent defending, feeding, clothing, housing and guarding this smuck got the last 25 years and tell me the justification..... Just shoot the mofo.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark C

      Unless you live in Utah, your tax dollar contribution is zero, Einstein.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ballz

      and if he lives in Utah?

      June 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Mark C.. thats not correct the state receives money from the federal government for many things , roads , education, healthcare, and ofcourse prisions, among many other things ,you are paying for his food , clothing, shealter, transportation, and don't forget his attorney you pay into that too.....

      June 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Aarrgghh

    The clock is also ticking for a completely innocent, and unrelated to the event, life to get ready to shoot this man in the head. Thus ending the killers life and making the shooter a murderer, perhaps even against his wishes. Think about that for a minute. More than just this killer and his conscience to consider in this equation knuckleheads.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSUNikki

      “The death penalty is nothing more than sending a defective product back to the manufacturer. Let him fix it.”

      June 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Um...please tell me when Utah, or any other state, has forced a consciencious objector to become an executioner.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      the officers that are on the firing sqade are all volunteers, meaning they asked to be a part of carrying out this mans punishment. I am sure they will sleep very well that night and all the nights of their lives.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zapato

      Is Utah the only backwards state that still kills people in front of a firing squad? What's the purpose of that?

      June 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      first of all , all the members of the fireing squad would be volenteers , they will work for law enforcement which is a job they could quit if asked to do something against their moral code , they would not be there against their will , also when in a fireing squad not all the guns are loaded with live ammo , so no one really knows who's bullets actually killed the guy

      June 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ecitsuj

      Two things:
      1) The murderes are shot in the heart (or at least where a normal persons heart would be) and
      2) At least one of the rifles is firing a blank, so no memebr of the firing squad really knows if he or she is the one that fired the kill shot

      June 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. B. A.

    The time for him to change was back in the 80's. I'm sure he'd be a real deal for society after a couple of decades of well-rounded death row therapy. We could balance the budget if these low lifes were disposed of properly.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. guy

    This guys going to die on birthday, which happens to be on the day my babies due. Weird.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • russ

      I think i'd be opting for enduced labor a day early, just in case souls are recycled.

      June 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
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