Utah murderer chooses firing squad

Written by Mike Roberts

Saturday, 24 April 2010

image for Utah murderer chooses firing squad
"Bring on the big guns" says Gardner

Convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner has caused a storm of controversy after telling the sentencing judge: "I would like the firing squad, please."

Following the frenzied reporting of the firing squad executions of Gary Gilmore, who famously quipped, "Let's do it!" before he faced the bullets, and John Albert Taylor, critics have tried to have the method outlawed in the US.

"This is nothing more than a relic from Utah's Wild West past and should be abolished." said one man, angry at the judge's decision to allow Gardner his request.

Legal commentators believe that Gardner's decision may be a cynical attempt to embarrass the authorities into commuting his sentence to life imprisonment instead.

"His execution would most likely be a repetition of the 'media circus' that accompanied the Taylor execution. Given the sensitive nature of the death penalty, particularly amongst our European allies, this is something the US government might wish to avoid."

Gardner, winking coyly at the gathered crowd, denied he had any ulterior motive but said that he would obviously be "overjoyed" if his sentence were to be somehow commuted to life imprisonment.

Evidence that Gardner's decision may have been a 'staged event' came later when it was revealed that lawyers acting on his behalf had requested that the firing squad consist of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Lawyers denied any connection to the 'alleged' plot stating that Mr Gardner had always been a fan of 'action' movies and they were simply trying to ensure that he receive a good send off.

"The 'last request' for the condemned man is a long-standing tradition. Some people want a Big Mac and fries, Mr Gardner wants to meet his favourite movie stars, it's as simple as that."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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