Two loud bangs end 25 years on death row for Gardner

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 06/18/2010 08:03:55 AM MDT

 

Draper » Five shots.

Four bullets.

With two loud bangs in quick succession, Ronnie Lee Gardner's quarter century on Utah's death row ended. . .

 

In the Reader Comments forum following the article, between the redneck 'git 'er done' crowd, and the hand-wringing opponents of the death penalty - those arguing for final justice, and those asking who are we to judge - there was a decided appeal to the will of the almighty on both sides.

 

I submitted these observations myself:

 

UnfaithfulServant:  6/18/2010 10:15:00 AM

 

My 1st thought: Maybe they should've let the doctor position the target - the heart is in the middle of the chest.

My second thought: It's tragic that anyone's life should come to this. But actions based on the rule of law, and moral judgement, are two different things.

If you believe that "Judgement is mine sayeth . . .", then it ought to be possible to defer moral judgment to gawdalmighty, while at the same time sending him onto said imagined deity for judgment.  And even if you don't, you can see the warrant of execution carried out, without all the moralizing.

An afterthought: As Clint said in the latest remake of The Unforgiven, " We've all got it coming, kid."

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Life is sometimes complicated and messy.  How do the rest of you feel about this?

 

Here is a link to the article:  http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_15325197?source=rv

 

 

Tags: closure, death, execution, judgement, justice, moralizing, murder, retribution, revenge, sanctioned, More…state

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Replies to This Discussion

They still do executions by firing squad? I thought you only got that for treason. Wow.
Absolutely! You have to remember that we're talking about Utah. I heard an interesting discussion on the radio yesterday about how it is all tied to the LDS religion that dominates our fair state, and their historical belief in "blood atonement."
I remember hearing about this not too long ago. My understanding is that the law used to allow convicts to choose death by firing squad. This has been banned within the last decade, but those sentenced before the ban are still granted the right to choose this method of execution. Well, my understanding is a little fuzzy, but I think that's more or less the case here.
I realize I am in the minority in my opinion, but I believe, and always have, that a person who intentionally takes the life of another forfeits their own right to live. The argument that I have heard, that it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone for the crime of murder, is total BS! Many times, these people have taken the life of another in a very violent, and often quite painful, manner to the victim. To grant mercy to someone who commits such an atrocious act against another is, to me, unthinkable. They showed no mercy to their victim, and should receive none as a result.
What constitutes a right to live? What context are you using this expression in?
You are definitely in the minority here, but I'm right there with you.
Hey, everyone - I appreciate reading all of your responses, and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Sometimes I wind up juggling too many things at once (and the older you get, the fewer things it takes).

Galen, although it sounds barbaric, death by firing squad is about as quick as it comes. I would personally prefer it to electrocution.

Dan is right, in referring to the LDS belief in blood atonement, and I can only suspect that it exerted some weight in Mr. Gardner's decision to have his life ended in this manner.

That I am not a supporter of the death penalty, for economic as well as social considerations, I think Darrell's response points to the great need we all sometimes feel, for some form of 'absolute justice.' And as such, I'm good with society's decision to invoke capitol punishment.

Kris points out the philosophical problem of trying to determine what, exactly, constitutes an individual's right to live. Or what, I might offer, constitutes the right of society to demand that anyone should forfeit their life.

The little matter of unquestionable quilt, also raises the specter of the many innocent people that have, no doubt, died at the hands of state officials, due to sentencing based on less than conclusive evidence.

How do you restore a man's honor - let alone his life - once it has already been taken by the state?

That I feel it is simply a choice that we, as a society, have to make, I also feel it is one that is largely based on emotional, rather than any empirical need.

However, once decided, and except for making all possible assurances that it is not abused, we - as a society - need to collectively shoulder the responsibility for having decided the issue, and stop moralizing over our 'right to play god.'

Of course we have the right - we do it all the time.
I'd prefer the injection personally. Just slowly fall asleep and never wake up.
My main objection, as for many people, is the possibility of killing an innocent person. Timothy McVeigh, as an example, being completely guilty, admitting it...not such a problem. I'd still prefer not to have it, even if we knew for sure, but at least that certainty allows the system to weigh it better. Now I know in a lot of these cases their guilt is undisputed, and the legal wrangling is what keeps them alive. Despite this, we also have to face the disproportionate use of capital punishment based on race and class. There are cruel and unusual methods of execution as well. Many people will say they deserve it, but my feeling is that it does not make us better people to get into "eye for an eye" thinking. It's a complicated issue as we see.
Michael, It is indeed, a complicated issue. And I couldn't agree more, with everything you've said here.

I guess the chain I was somewhat looking to rattle here, is how so many of our feelings against capitol punishment, have to do with our own fear of death - in wishing to impose it on another.

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