Ronnie Lee Gardner Executed By Firing Squad
June 18, 2010
Utah (ChattahBox) – The first execution by bullets in the United States since 1996 took place this morning, when Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed at 12:05 A.M. He was pronounced officially dead at 12:17 A.M.
The topic of his chosen execution has been a one of great controversy over the last month, after Gardner used an old law that allowed him to request death by firing squad.
The law was originally repealed in 2003, but there was no retroactive measures to stop those on death row before a certain date from choosing.
Eyewitnesses at his execution said that he was quiet, with his hands clenched as he awaited the shots. When asked if he had any last words, he replied, “I do not, no.”
“There was no blood splattered across the white cinderblock wall at the Utah State Prison,” Associated Press reporter Jennifer Dobner said.
“No audible sounds from the condemned. I couldn’t see his eyes. I never saw the guns and didn’t hear the countdown to the trigger-pull.”
Gardner was executed for the murder of Michael J. Burdell, an attorney who was shot in the head during a prison escape attempt during time Gardner was spending for armed robbery.