Killer to face firing squad in Utah

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A condemned murderer will become only the third person to be executed by firing squad in the United States in more than three decades.

State court Judge Robin Reese signed the warrant Friday morning for Ronnie Lee Gardner, who killed a man during a failed escape 25 years ago.

Under state law, Gardner, 49, was given the choice of being killed by lethal injection or shot by a five-man team of executioners firing from a set of matched rifles, a rarely used relic that harkens back to the western state's territorial history.

Two men have died in a hail of bullets since that decision: Gary Gilmore, in 1977, after famously uttering the last words, "Let's do it", and John Albert Taylor in 1996.

Oklahoma is the only other state that considers a firing squad an acceptable option, but by law would only use it if lethal injection was deemed unconstitutional. The state has never used the method.

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Jonathan Dresner - 4/25/2010

This is an excerpt of an article from elsewhere, which HNN posts to direct readers' attention to items of interest. Any information lacking in the excerpt can be found quickly by clicking on the link below the title and reading the source.

Jonathan Dresner
HNN Editor

Allison Elledge - 4/25/2010

Does anyone realize that the author never mentioned the state in which this execution is to take place?