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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Utah killer fails to stop execution

Gardner

In Utah, a parole board has decided against commuting the death sentence of Ronnie Lee Gardner, who asked that -- if he must be executed -- a firing squad kill him.

The state Supreme Court also turned down an appeal. His attorneys argued he deserved a new sentencing hearing because his previous lawyers didn't present adequate evidence that he'd been abused as a child, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. They also say that it's cruel and unusual to execute someone after spending so much time on Death Row. Gardner is scheduled to die on Friday.

Family members of George "Nick" Kirk, front row from left: Jamie Stewart, Mandi Hull, and Barb Webb, react as the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announces their unanimous decision to deny Ronnie Lee Gardner's request for commutation.

Gardner, who shot and seriously injured Kirk in 1985, is scheduled to be executed by firing squad Friday for the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell. (AP Photo/Trent Nelson, Pool)

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