After a 25-year stretch on Utah’s death row Ronnie Lee Gardner faced a deadly firing squad this morning.
Following his final appeal in April, Gardner politely bit the bullet and elected to die by the very weapon he used as a young man.
For Gardner was condemned to die for killing a lawyer, after a gun battle ensued when the convict tried to escape from a Utah courthouse.
Michael Burdell was shot through his right eye as Gardner staged an audacious bid to escape during his original trial – also for murder.
Poignantly the victim’s niece, Donna Taylor said “Mike was totally against the death penalty. He would not have wanted this; he would have said this doesn’t do any good”.
As for Gardner, words were the last thing on his mind as he refused the offer of a parting speech.
He was shot at 12:15am in Utah, aged 49 in Salt Lake City.