Earlier today, Utah became the first state to execute someone via firing squad in 14 years. Regardless of the fact that Mr. Gardner requested to die in this manner, it’s still a step back to some, while to others it’s justice served. Either way, let’s agree that as attorney general, you just shouldn’t use a social networking website to report on an execution, especially when you’re the one responsible for calling the shots (literally). Seems slightly fucked, doesn’t it?
A couple of months ago, I wrote about one Ronnie Lee Gardner, and his ordeal on death row. If you recall, Ronnie was on death row for killing an attorney, and physically harming a bailiff, while in court. This all took place in 1984 (that’s three years before I was born) and he was finally executed this morning, around 12:15 A.M.
Just minutes before Ronnie was pronounced dead, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was on Twitter. Around midnight, Mark tweeted “I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”
You know, I’m all for tweeting about random bullshit, like how your cat just vomited on your computer, or how you were so drunk last night you couldn’t get the condom out, whatever, but tweeting about someone’s imminent death? Time to get off the internet and start doing some real work, buddy.
As far as the days leading up to the execution go, Mark Shurtleff was surprisingly quiet about all. For Ronnie, his final days consisted of his last supper, which took place on Tuesday, at 6:30 P.M. It consisted of steak, lobster, apple pie, vanilla ice cream, and 7-Up. Dude must have really loved his grade-C beverages, because I was unaware of the fact that that shit is still being produced. Corrections officers let news leak that the meal cost a whopping $35 to the state of Utah.
It seems that, besides bolstering sales of 7-Up, Ronnie’s execution is also bringing people together. It was reported that the nieces of both Mr. Gardner and the murdered attorney, Michael Burdell, met up on a hill in Salt Lake City, minutes before the firing squad took aim. Donna Taylor, Burdell’s niece, was quoted as saying that her murdered uncle would “not have wanted Ronnie Lee Gardner executed.”
As a note, I tried to go to the execution so I could liveblog it, but apparently my credentials weren’t good enough. There’s always next time, in the good ol’ State of Utah.