Friday, June 18, 2010

Utah Killer Executed by Firing Squad

29th Execution of 2010

As reported by, at exactly midnight, Ronnie Lee Gardner, who spent more than half his life behind bars was awakened from a nap for his execution. He appeared calm as he was escorted to the execution chamber at a state prison in Draper, Utah. Gardner was strapped to a metallic, winged execution chair; his arms and legs, his head and torso secured tightly. He wore a dark prison jumpsuit and no shoes.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."

Witnesses said Gardner rubbed his left thumb and forefinger moments before the shooting. At 12:15 a.m., the rifles exploded; four bullets perforated his heart and lungs. The straps held his head up. A metal tray beneath the chair collected his blood. After the shots were fired, he could be seen clenching his left fist.

Gardner was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m.

To read more about Gardner's execution:

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