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Ronnie Lee Gardner requests firing squad; execution date set June 18

Judge signs death warrant

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  • giantfan
    April 23, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    "[Burdell] would not have wanted to be the reason Ronnie Lee was executed"

    There's no reason to worry about that. Ronnie Lee Gardner will be the reason why Ronnie Lee Gardner is executed. Burdell was the victim and Gardner committed a captial crime which carries the death penalty. Let's put the blame squarely on the individual that deserves it. Time to reap the consequences.

  • thereandthere
    April 23, 2010 11:20 a.m.

    He is wasting our tax dollars...just put the man to death.

  • pharmacist
    April 23, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    I know it would cost money up front, but why has not the Fed. Gov. set up a 3 or 5 panel of Federal Judges, under the Supriem court to hear nothing but appeals from prisoners in all 50 states. Then maybe it would not take years for an appeal to be hear, but rather cut the time down to months.

  • TAGZZ
    April 23, 2010 11:40 a.m.

    Giantfan hit the nail right on the head... I agree with you 100%

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    April 23, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    Let's get this over with and stop using taxpayer money on this guy.

  • yarnicles
    April 23, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    Do we know when the execution will take place?

  • jasonlivy
    April 23, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    The time has come.

    We, as tax payers, demand justice in this case. We, as a people, demand that people who kill other people for selfish reasons, without proof of self defense, should receive punishment. He needs to take personal responsibility for his actions! He shot these people. What rights did they have? I have no sympathy for Gardner, but I do for his victims. Anyone who thinks differently than this does not understand justice nor mercy.

    All I can say is May God have Mercy on his Soul...

    When a person does this, we demand that they are punished according to the law. The law states that anyone who commits such crimes be put to death. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR A CIVIL SOCIETY! We, as a people, uphold this decision as ruled by a court of law and a jury of his peers. Unless there is new evidence to the contrary (which has been shown to nauseam that there isn't) he should be executed under the law.

    That time has finally come...

  • noneck62
    April 23, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    I suggest Brian David Mitchell recieved the same punishment if he is convicted of his crimes. but wait, he might try to sing at his exacution.

  • Not_Scared
    April 23, 2010 12:48 p.m.

    Are any of you readers getting off this planet alive? All you fools have done is to shorten his sentence and reduce his punishment.

  • MoneyMan
    April 23, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    He talks about his Mormon Heritage, lets get something stright on this 1) if he had been true to his beliefs he would not be at this point. 2) I'm pretty sure that he is NOT a mormon anymore. 3) WHAT does the firing squad have to do with heritage? 4) WHy would the Deseret news even put that in this story? Let the Law take care of this and leave the Church out of this. It is a poor writer that can not put an article together with out somehow draging Mormon in to the story.

  • Uncle Rico
    April 23, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    NOT_Scared: you represent a God-less people.
    For you, this world is it, and there is no more after this life.
    Before you start calling people fools, you might want to give credit to those who have lived a disciplined life who have contemplated God, Scriptures and the meaning of man's existence and who have paid the price to understand what occurs beyond this life. Rather than listening to your own Godless ramblings based on years of doing whatever is easiest.

  • chuckles55
    April 23, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    I attended the funeral for a very good man, Sgt Mel Otterstrom, whose life was cut short by Mr. Gardner. A second was also taken because of this man's lack of care about who he hurts. It's too bad that his children (now grown and educated in the realities of their father's plight) will have to learn to understand about life and death by firing squad. It's time for Mr. Gardner to feel a little of the fear that his victims may have experienced, to feel the fleeting pain of a bullet in the heart and to meet his maker so he can begin paying the real price for his behavior.
    Our justice system is a good one and usually gets it right, even though, at times, it appears that it won't. Mr. Gardner, your time is up.

  • RichN
    April 23, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    You have all said what needs to be said in this case, and I would like to see our pharmacist's comment expanded, ("...why has not the Fed. Gov. set up a 3 or 5 panel of Federal Judges, ... to hear nothing but appeals from prisoners .... Then maybe it would not take years for an appeal to be hear[d], but rather cut the time down to months.") seriously our Gov. should look into this.

    In some cases even having the added measure of on sight killing and clean up squads. This helps with unemployment, by giving jobs to a few people, and clear out those that are truly worthy of exit from this life to the one beyond. Frees up prison space too. Also this would move taxes from the paying years of keeping convicted killers alive in prison, to paying people to do a dirty job, but they'll also pay taxes. From months we could go down to weeks and really put some fear into the desire to kill without cause.

    Bye gangs and robberies

  • Pagan
    April 23, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    Facts of the matter.
    This man has been found guilty of murder.
    He has been on appeal for 25 years.
    The method, really, is a moot point.
    He has lived 25 more years than his victims.

  • Jon
    April 23, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    Several of the comments on this page horrify me.
    I may have misunderstood his intended meaning slightly, but "jasonlivy" seems to be suggesting that a death penalty is necessary in order to maintain a civil society. This is patently untrue, as there are many societies that remain civil without a death penalty.
    "chuckles55", I appreciate that you care about Gardner's victims, but your comment is sadistic, grotesque and offensive. Almost as sadistic, grotesque and offensive as the very concept of death by firing squad. I'm no too up on my bible knowledge, but I'm pretty sure God's not too keen on murder, regardless of whether the person committing it is doing so against the laws of whatever country he happens to live in, or to uphold those laws. Surely even the most fervently religious among you can see the hypocrisy inherent in punishing a murderer by murdering him.
    It's not worth getting into "RichN"'s ideas for improving society. They're so ridiculous that I half-suspect he's kidding.

  • JBear
    April 23, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    Sheesh, do some research.
    It costs immensely more to carry out a death sentence (millions of dollars in court costs) than it does to house a prisoner for life.

    Uncle Rico: thou shalt not judge

    Jasonlivy: show me ANY proof that capital punishment contributes to a "civil society".

    Money Man: his Mormon comment was an important (to him, thus the story) part of him deciding the means by which he will die. Just because we don't understand, doesn't mean it shouldn't be printed.

    All: our prison system is horrendous. There is almost NO rehabilitation. And capital punishment isn't effective as a deterrent. If a guy is willing to gun down a bunch of innocent people, do you think he's afraid of the death penalty? I don't.

  • Truth Seeker
    April 23, 2010 2:38 p.m.

    The people that benfit the most from capital punishment is the lawyers. 25 years on death row is ridiculous.

  • Rorer714
    April 23, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    @JBear, I'm in agreement with most of what you said, but one question for you...

    Why would you assert (by way of a rhetorical question) that murderers are not afraid of the death penalty? That doesn't explain why so many of them -- who have given up protesting their guilt -- still fight like crazy to get the death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. It says to me that many of them are as scared as little girls of dying. I don't know if they think it will hurt, or if they're afraid of the judgment they'll face in their faith. A lot of them have committed crimes with a high "bully syndrome" quotient: real big man while they're armed an in control of their victim, but also really an insecure child inside.

    The only ones I can respect at all are those who "man up" and take their medicine. But 25 years of appeals is all too often the norm.

  • Last Stand
    April 23, 2010 3:00 p.m.

    Re: JBear
    Yes, it does cost more money to carry out an execution than a life sentence, but it doesn't mean the answer to that is to abolish it all together. I'm all for abolishing the ridiculous number of appeals they're allowed to make and the fact that it can take 25+ years to carry out the sentence. I'm sure there are plenty of ways to take out cost in the process and make it an even cheaper method of punishment for those that murder.

    I would't go as far as to say there is "NO" rehabilitation in our prison systema but I do agree that there is room for improvment. Also, can you really quantify that capital punishment is not a deterrent? If you're right, then once again that's not reason enough to get rid of it. If it's not an effective deterrent, then we're doing it wrong. Expedite the process. Put it on display so that there is no doubt as to what the consequence for murder can be.

    Should we just release all prisoners, abolish all punishment, because in your eyes, it's not working?

  • comchris
    April 23, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    I'd like to add one other perspective to this discussion - that capital punishment is consistent with the religious concept of repentance. Restitution is a requirement for repentance and tru rehabilitation. For some actions, restitution is not possible and must take another form. Fortunately, for Bro. Gardner, the state is making it possible for him.

  • hybridbeing
    April 23, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    To the best of my knowledge-asking those who know about LDS faith- the only atonement for taking a life is by spilling blood in the atonement, ie firing squad. Don't know for sure, but there is a small pamphlet put out by LDS church about blood atonement.

  • TKC
    April 23, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    Some comments here are shocking to me...

    I'm not excusing Gardner for anything, he is accountable for his transgression against the law and for taking the lives of his victims, but some posts here are hateful and vengeful and the feelings behind the comments are as evil as the feelings as the sinner himself. Don't excuse his act, but don't spit on him and wish "the pain of a bullet in the heart" or "just put him to death."

    Be the better man/woman.

  • RedWhiteandBlue
    April 23, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    Blood Atonement will not save his soul. Mainly because he did an unpardonable sin, that of taking an innocent life, one of the tennents of the Church.

  • the truth
    April 23, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    Capitial punishment is not meant as a deterrent,

    but as a punishment.


    NO punishment is meant as a detrrent,

    Punishment is meant as means to retroactively bring about justice for criminal actions,

    to make right again that which was wrong,

    to clean the slate.

    UNfortunately some cases are so severe there is not way we can restore what was taken and also effect some punitive measure.


    If you want "deter" someone then teach themn morals and values and principles.


    IT is a good to see some sort of JUSTICE finally happening.

  • RealityChek
    April 23, 2010 7:14 p.m.

    I find some of the comments on this post horrifying!

    What is wrong with the people who are not for executing this murdering piece of garbage? He took two lives, maybe more, and still you want to keep him for life? He spent 25 years eluding the executioner's services - its way past time for him to dance. Giving him attention in this way is horrible. Making an event of his final execution date and allowing him to be the focal character in the show is not justice. There will never truly be justice for this man, but he should be made to even the scales as much as possible, and that means it is time for him to die.

  • bobosmom
    April 23, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    gardner is pathetic.

  • ennayr
    April 24, 2010 12:00 a.m.

    Could someone explain to me why he has the "right" to decide how it will be done? Didn't he lose his rights when he decided to committ such an awful crime?

  • BleedCougarBlue
    April 24, 2010 1:26 a.m.

    25 years?

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!

    This is THE reason that capital punishment, as it's carried out now, does not work.

    Try them and if they're found guilty, appeal it once (if they wish) and then execute them. ALL should be done within 6-12 months of catching them and throwing them in jail.

    Will there occasionally be innocent people executed?

    Yes.

    However, the murder rate would drop like a rock once would-be murderes understand the reality of if you murder and are caught you WILL be executed. Quick.

  • Critical Thought
    April 24, 2010 3:27 a.m.

    I stand strongly against the death penalty. It isn't shown to be a deterrant, nor does it save society money. Violence begats violence. Your pathetic little minds disgust me. Revenge, revenge, blah, blah, blah. Yes he did something horrible. But, the hate in your hearts is just as bad.

  • Dennis
    April 24, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    Re: Critical
    This penalty isn't being used as deterrant. It's being used too dispose of a violent, awful member of society that has performed an awful act by taking the life of another individual.
    Gardner "chose" this road, not society.

  • Jacket
    April 24, 2010 7:16 a.m.

    Critical Thought - having hate in my heart is just as bad as multiple cold blooded murders?? You really believe that?? Your comments seem quite hate filled, accordingly you should be happy to serve life in prison if you really mean what you say.

    Cougar Blue - I agree that as currently practiced, capital punishment is meaningless. California has around 600 on death row, it is unlikely there will be a single execution, they will all die of natural causes.

    In reading of almost bizarre angles that defense attys take in capital punishment cases, I wonder how much they are motivated by justice and how much they are motivated by their hourly billing rate, paid by taxpayers.

  • higv
    April 24, 2010 7:45 a.m.

    By saying you are against the death penalty you are saying you are against justice for the victim and the victims life is not as valuable as the murderer.

    If it was enforced murders would go down. And modern revelation to LDS Liberal Doctrine and Covenants 49 Thou shalt not kill. But he that kills shall die. So that is in modern scripture too.

  • Drillbit
    April 24, 2010 8:49 a.m.

    Those who don't think capital punishment is not a deterrant, think about this. Gardner won't kill anyone else. He is deterred.

  • dkjack
    April 24, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Justice is not about deterrent, nor is it concerned about expense. Justice is about deserts, as in "just deserts".

    To address a familiar platitude of the anti-death penalty crowd: No, not all life is sacred. The life of a murderer is not sacred. Murderers deserve to die. Period. No hand-wringing, no fatuous op-ed columns about the terrible burden of an execution. The only burden of an execution is the burden of proof of guilt. Once that's established, convicted murderers should be dispatched without delay, without comfort, without ceremony and without remorse.

    And yes, it is seemly for us to celebrate murderers' deaths as we mourn their victims. This is not blood lust, as the sanctimonious anti-death penalty crowd claims. In fact, the supreme price we exact for murder indicates the supreme value we place upon life. It is what makes us civilized. Let the Europeans coddle their killers. They are the true barbarians.

    The only barbarity about the death penalty is the interminable appeals process imposed on it.

  • don
    April 24, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    RE: Money Man, "What does the firing suad have to do with(Mormon)heritage?"
    Elder Bruce R.McConkie,"Man may commit certain grievous sins-according to his light and knowledge-that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone-so far as in his power lies-for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail." (Mormon Doctrine) "blood atonement"

  • GTFOOH
    April 24, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    FIRING SQUAD IS TO GOOD FOR HIM!
    He should be made to listen to a continous loop of Orin Hatch records!

  • tabuno
    April 24, 2010 10:42 a.m.

    I want to commend the Deseret News for the intelligent and comprehensive coverage of this important event compared to the rather brief and cursory coverage that the Salt Lake Tribune undertook. When the national newspapers, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, AP wire services provide the same or more converage, it probably is an indication of the event's importance. That the Salt Lake Tribune seemed to overlook this fact even though a lot more comments were posted on their website, is a mystery to me. Deseret News you continue to impress me in this regards.

  • justaguy
    April 24, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    I have to wonder if his choosing the firing squad is to make this whole process just a little harder. In many ways, those who carry out this execution will also be victims of his crimes.

  • prunes
    April 24, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    At the CDR (crude death rate) in the United States in year 2000 of 8.9, at this time an average of 45 percent of MR Gardener's 1st grade class has passed beyond the vail. This is for an American of 49 years of age. That means that little Suzy that sat to his left and little Johnny who sat behind him in Mrs Goodkind's class are already dead. Mr Gardner has already outlived 55% of his class due to the fairness doctrine directed in the "American System of Jurisprudence". You do the math. Go figure.

  • prunes
    April 24, 2010 2:59 p.m.

    Correction to 2:57 entry:...has outlived 45% of his class, not 55%...sorry for the error.

  • eddiethekid
    May 4, 2010 2:42 a.m.

    I'm against capital punishment, but if it's going to
    exist, then take it seriously. 25 years is a joke. If the state can't execute you in 5 years, you should automatically have your sentence commuted to life without parole. The state has to act responsibly, and 25 years of procrastination is irresponsible.

  • eddiethekid
    May 4, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    Hey, Prunes, I liked your little mathematical analysis. My favorite section of the newspaper is
    the death notices, and I always check out the ages of the deceased. I've kind of made an unscientific
    mortality table, but I think it's pretty accurate:

    AGE BRACKETS & PROBABILITY OF DYING IN EACH BRACKET
    ________________________________________________ 0-39, 40'S, 50'S, 60'S, 70'S, 80'S, 90'S, 100+

    1% 5% 11% 13% 27% 30% 12% 1%

    By my table, the %age of those born 49 years ago,
    in 1961, when Ronnie Lee Gardner was born, who would
    have already passed away, would be 6% (1% + 5%).
    I think 94% of those born on after 1961 are still alive. Like I said, my table is unscientific, but
    it's based on over 30 years of religiously reading
    the death notices. It's my favorite part of the newspaper.

  • eddiethekid
    May 4, 2010 1:27 p.m.

    Hey,Prunes, I liked your little analysis, but I think you are in error. I figure just about 6% of
    those born in 1961, when Mr. Gardner was born, have
    died. I base this on 30 years of religiously reading the death notices in the Chicago Tribune. I'm 64 years old, and I've been checking out the death notices for over 30 years now, and although
    my table is unscientific, it's based on 30 years of
    observation. My unscientific mortality table is shown below:

    Age Brackets with %ages dying in each bracket:

    0-39 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's 100+

    1% 5% 11% 13% 27% 30% 12% 1%


    By my table, those born in 1961, would have died either in the age bracket 0-39 or in the 40's bracket, and the sum of those 2 would be 1%+5%=6%.
    Thus, I believe 94% of those born the same year as
    Mr. Gardener are still alive.