What kept Garner alive was the appeals process, which was, extraordinarily, kind
to Gardner, and cruel to the vicitm suvivors.
I have always had very mixed opinions about the death penalty. Crimes such as
this include so many more people than just the victim and perpetrator. So many
families have been forever changed. I pray that even in such a death as Mr.
Gardner's, that there is peace and closure for all those effected. Over the
years I have had friends who have lost family members to horrible crimes and
also have family members who have committed those crimes. The families left
behind are also victims. I pray for the families of Mr. Otterstrom, Mr. Burdell,
and Mr. Kirk. I also can not help but feel for the family of Mr. Gardner. I was
born and raised in Utah and lived in SLCity for many years as a child. I do not
know if this is the same family or not, but we lived next door to some Gardner's
for several years before moving out of state. I have often thought of them and
wondered what happened to all the kids on that little dead-end street. We were
all very close growing up. In any case, I pray this brings peace to all these
Prisoners are denied contact with family because everyone knows it's a huge
punishment not to touch yur daughter or wife's hand - ever again. I
big on the ability of love to change people and haven't seen punishment have the
desired effect.But I know I won't change some people's minds.
Mr. GardnerYou have paid your debt to society in full. May you now
reconcile with your victims on the other side.May God have mercy on
financenco, no offense but your logic doesn't hold. The consequences of his
actions are what lawyers and a judge put in place many decades ago. We, the
people, should demand life in prison with no parole rather than death. We have,
as a society, chosen immoral consequences for immoral actions. We stand with
other societies like Iran, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Sermon on The
Mount teaches the values I wish we lived.
I sincerely praise PeakBagger for thinking and feeling. All of us are so quick
to make a point that we fail to do those two things. I am impressed.
I will accept the fairness of the death penalty when I see a murdering Heisman
trophy winner, or a murdering legendary record producer, or a murdering 70's
crime drama TV star strapped to the gurney.
To "Sally Smiles-a-Lot | 12:46 a.m. " Ron Gardner was not offered as a
sacrifice, he was put to death to fullfill the demands of justice.
If the death penalty is justice, then why do we not execute everyone convicted
of murder?If our intention is to teach others not to kill, then why do we
do it hidden away behind walls?Why do we not have public executions? If it
is going to help the victims family so much, then why do we not let them see his
face while he dies?For those who want to argue a scriptural argument
(which I find highly offensive) I think all Mormons that support the death
penalty, should be required to meet in the middle of temple square, and
participate in a public stoning of the convicted.If god approves, then it
isn’t murder, right?I leave out the other religions, because as far
as I could see, they were all at church asking for forgiveness and clemency.
I am no expert of the scriptures but I do know that when the bible says "thou
shalt not kill" it had no reference to capital punishment meted out by society.
When Moses presented the "the law," including the commandment, "Thou shalt not
kill" to the Israelites, he drew a line in the earth and asked all who would
agree to live the law to step over the line. Those who refused to step over the
line and accept the law were killed. Many were killed (executed) that day.
Their punishment was the forfeiture of their lives. You may disagree with the
government's right today to carry out capital punishment but do not rely on the
bible's admonition, "thou shalt not kill" to support your opinion.
Well said big daddy.And Amelia, hopefully the families of the murdered can
finally rest. Heaven will judge the killer and he will get his just reward. I
only hope you never have to witness a violent murder as some of us have. You
might change your mind.
The J of D is/was not an authorized LDS Church publication and comments
published in it were not necessarily doctrine. Non members and some members have
the misguided notion that everything a GA said is gospel - it isn't. For
example, President Young was fond of using hyperbole to make his points. GA's
have opinions that are not to be taken as gospel. Just ask one. There is only
one source for authorized doctrine at a time and it is the currently sitting
President of the Church. The Church's entire doctrinal foundation is based on
continuing revelation. What was valid 150 years ago may not work today. That is
why we need prophets to sort these things out. If it has a "Thus sayeth the
Lord..." attached to it you can safely assume it is doctrinal. Without it, it
could just be good advice based on opinion. President Hinckley spoke to this
I am with Peakbagger. Well Said. Hopefully Ronnie Gardner is finally at peace
and happy, and loved.
Why did it take 25+ years to finely do what was required by law - all of the
legal / lawyer juggling. No matter the reason why [his past history] he
killed 2 people - no question about it, with that action he thereby forfeited
his life — his time on earth. He deserved to die to fulfill the
demands of justice - the law - End of story.Should have happened about 25
years ago — it would have been better for all.!!By his-actions
— no one else, he left a stain on all of society.
I love reading the "organic gardening" take each time I read it. Thanks much for
the laughs! I guess Randy will need to "live the dream" by himself!
Ridiculous!!! :(Wouldn't it be nice if the victim's families had a chance
to hug their murdered fathers and grandfathers one more time. Why all the
coverage of the murderer's family, what about the "true" victims of this bloody
It is sad to think how much more good could have been accomplished by letting
Gardner help others avoid his same crimes. Executing him accomplishes nothing.
It only brings closure because it was unclear what would be his fate. Once
again, Utah makes news for all of the wrong reasons.
Were Gardner's victims allowed one last hug, one last word with family and
friends before dying? This sympathy for a killer makes me want to
throw up.But you need people like Gardner. You need another
sensational story to write about, don't you.Too bad (but not at all
surprising) you didn't take time to hear the heartache and suffering of his
victims' families and friends.You wouldn't dare because you don't
care about victims. Your sympathy doesn't extend that far, does it.
There is another side to all of this. A friend of mine has a son on death row
in another state. I have seen the effect that this has had on him and his
family. He is as good a man as there is and did everything to be a good father,
but drugs, alcohol, and friends had a powerful influence on his son. I'll leave
it for others who are more objective than I can be to argue the merits of this
type of punishment. Maybe it does bring closure to the family of the victims
and gives society a sense of retribution, but it punishes other people as well
who are innocent.
Isn't it better for one man to die, than for an entire community to live in
fear? Even if Ronnie had his sentence commuted, there would have
been dire consequences. He said he was his own flight risk, his own enemy by
possibly committing similar crimes again, and he had to eventually succumb to
the fact that he had to repay the debt he gave to others by having his life in
jeopardy and eventually dying for it. Not that it makes him a savior or a
martyr, but it makes him human and underlines the frailty of human life in every
sense of the word.
I'm glad justice was served and have thought much about the victims' families.
I have also thought about Mr. Gardner's family as well; they are victims of his
crimes and actions as well. While society will not miss him, his family will.
It's not easy to lose someone you love; as all of his victims know.
People have to live by the law of the land. It says if you kill, especially in
the way he did it, you can face death penalty. If you don't want to die, don't
do the crime. The people he killed didn't get a trial, before he said they
needed to die. He killed, and now he has remorse. Had it worked out for him,
he would still be living the life in Burmuda some where, and his family would
have been visiting or some odd thing. It is time for all states to have the
death penalty. The victim's family chose to forgive, that is good, but it still
doesn't change the fact that he has to face the consequences fromhis actions.
And it wasn't until recently that he started changing his mind about it, which
was too late.
@DOMHow much money is a human life worth? What’s the dollar amount
we should place on a human life before we say, alright your done we are going to
kill you know? Give me a number.
@OnlyInUtah So his family (who did nothing wrong) got to be traumatized
and you think that is something to be happy about? He may have deserved to die
but to claim his family somehow got what they deserved is just sick.
Gotta love guys like Baquaman - a real fire & brimstone type. First, its the
whole bible has been misinterpreted by everyone BUT HIM. But the thing is, the
bible DOESNT say "Thou shall not murder", it says what it says and that is "THOU
SHALL NOT KILL"Somehow, I dont think that means you get a pass if you do
it the name of the state. Jesus preached a different message than the
violence of the old testament so whe could get away from retributuion and
revenge. I dont think it too much of a stretch to interpret Jesus teachings as
being against the very IDEA of capital punishment.
Cynic, you have made a good point. It's ironic that even his own family are
victims of his murderous behavior. Yes we all feel sorry for them, just like we
feel sorry for the families of his other victims. I extend my sympathies to them
also, but that does not change that he needed to be executed.
Several of you have pointed out that Gardner's victims didn't get the chance to
say goodbye to their families, and this is true. Our greatest sympathy right now
should be for those families. However, even those of you who can
muster no sympathy whatsoever for Gardner surely must recognize that his
daughter, who was only 3 years old when her father was sent to death row, is
also an innocent victim of his crimes. She is entitled to our sympathy and
compassion today even if her father isn't. The callousness some of you have
shown towards her and the other members of Gardner's family is truly sickening.
They will probably read the comments you have made. Did you think of that before
To people whose reading of the Bible stopped at the book of Genesis, I suggest
you keep reading before you comment further. You can start in the 5th chapter of
Matthew, and ask yourself what Jesus meant when he expressly rejected the "eye
for an eye" practices of the past. Read on, where he talks about turning the
other cheek, loving your enemies, doing good to those who hate you. Keep
reading, where he is confronted by the Jews with a woman caught in adultery,
punishable by death under Jewish law. Did he approve of the death penalty in
that case, or did he suggest mercy? After you've read these things, come back
and tell me you still think the gospel of Jesus Christ supports capital
To Baguaman, Christ came to fulfill the law, doing away with the shedding of
blood as a sacrifice on the altars, as had been done since the days of Moses,
and long before, since the time of Adam, as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of
the Savior. However, that is not the same as capital punishment. I am not
particularly in favor of it, and I think Gardner's execution is a sad thing. But
it closes this chapter of the lives of everyone involved, and hopefully they can
all go on and move forward now, and try to find ways to help other boys, and
girls too, to avoid the pitfalls that Ronnie Lee fell into. Perhaps the organic
farm he and his brother dreamed and planned can come to fruition and be the
instrument of change for some youth who are going astray. I truly hope so.
How in the world is the death of Ronnie Lee Gardner "justice"? His death didn't
bring back those he killed - it only added more unnecessary blood to that which
was already spilled. The death of a person should never bring another any form
of satisfaction, and I'm sure the families of Ronnie's victims aren't going to
sleep any better now that he's dead than they did while he was alive. Of course, all of these events were set into motion by Ronnie's decision to
kill 25 years ago, but there is no justice in ending an other life...
For those that think capital punishment is barbaric or un-Christian, I refer you
to Genesis where God says to Noah that any many that sheds blood shall have his
blood shed by man. Jesus Christ never once mentioned capital punishment in the
For those that think capital punishment is murder, I refer you to Genesis where
God himself says if a man sheds blood then by man shall his blood be shed...Thou shalt no kill has been misinterpreted, it should say thou shalt not
murder...Jesus Christ himself said that not one jot or tittle of the
law will pass until all things have been fulfilled.The Almighty also
made it clear in Genesis that for the life blood of all creatures he will demand
an accounting... So read your Bible and quit taking things out of context.
Nice article. So often the family of the inmate gets overlooked and forgotten,
but they are also victims. I for one am glad they have had a chance to say
goodbye, and to be able to touch one another. Im glad God is the final judge in
all of this. What RLG did was reprehensible, but so were all the terrible things
that happened to him when he was a little boy. How different life might have
been, both for him and for his victims, if someone along the way had found a way
to touch this little boy, and later young man, in a positive way, to teach him a
better way to live. Best wishes to Ronnie Lee's family, and to the families of
his victims. There are no winners here.
The condemned man's extended family is still innocent and suffering and grieving
because of the events.It does cost more to execute. If
there is no such thing as forgiveness we are all doomed.
RLG has had more rights than his victims. His victims didn't get to reach out
and touch their families before they were murdered.
All I see is a man who we know murder 2 people and how over the past 25 years
we've wasted money on this guy--how much $ did the state pay to keep this guy
alive--execution should have been a long time ago
His victims families never got to say their goodbyes. The justice system has
showed more compassion towards him, than he did for the victims and thier
families. Actions are stronger than words. May all the families have some
RKC, OnlyInUtah, and The NIT: funny how easily you can confuse "justice" with
revenge. Ghandi said, "An eye for an eye makes the world blind"And as a side note, NO government should have the power to take the life
of an individual.
Complete justice in my opinion will come in the next life. It's impossible to
get 100% justice in this life. That is why revenge never makes you feel good.
I think people should be sent for life in prison, but I don't believe in the
death penalty because who are we to take anyone's life, even if he is guilty of
taking someone else's?
Justice can finally - after all these years - be served.
It's a shame the victims families can't touch their lost ones any longer. THIS
execution is Justice. RLG's family finally has an idea of what RLG's victims
families have gone through for so many years.
HOW SAD. Randy Gardner reached through the bars of a maximum-security cell and
shook his little brother's hand. Then he kissed him goodbye. Are them redneck
Utahns paranoid, scared of prison riots, state prison inmates will be placed on
lockdown as a security measure for Utah's first execution in 11 years. The
Deseret News will be tweeting information from the Utah State Prison before and
after the execution. A five-member firing squad is scheduled to shoot Ronnie
Lee Gardner to death just after midnight, prison officials will move him to a
room with a black executioner's chair on one end, gun ports on the other end and
with viewing rooms on both sides, where he will be executed. Under Utah law,
Gov. Gary Herbert has a very limited role in executions. He does not have the
authority to commute a death sentence or issue a pardon. He does, however, have
the power to issue a respite or reprieve until the next meeting of the Utah
Board of Pardons and Parole. The request must come from the inmate's lawyers.
Herbert has not received such a request in Gardner's case. RIP
Ronnie Lee Gardner
Enough of the weepy stories! His time and excuses have run out.
to RKCWell said!
Sad his victims didnt get the chance to touch and say goodbye to their families.
And this nonsense of the farm he wanted to start was garbage.. This was just for
another escape route. If he was let loose today he would kill tommorow. The
only thing that changed was his hairline..
I have always been very pro death penalty.When the stark reality of
it stares you in the face, and you read lines like this, it's shakes my lifelong
beliefs.... "The prison allowed the family to touch the inmate through bars."He's never touched no one but his lawyer's hand" since coming to
prison, his brother, Randy Gardner said. "We kissed him goodbye.""That's pretty rough. I hate this whole saga from beginning to end.
Never understood how someone who has killed doesn't want to be killed.
I wish Gardner had had a fair chance in life. Physically and sexually abused
beginning when he was 5? Institutionalized when he was 11? His primary
care-giver (if he can be called that!) teaching him how to be a criminal when he
was 14? No matter how you view the events of 25 years ago, the ensuing 25
years, or tonight, this is a horrible scenario from start to finish. The
families of the victims of Mr. Gardner's horrible crimes may find "closure -
whatever that is - and if that's what they're looking for, I hope they get it.
I wonder. however, if Mr. Gardner's professed transformation is real.
I have a hard time believing we have people who still kill people. If they can
be Judge, Juror and executioner, without any thought or concern for their
victims why do they and their family have trouble with the state doing it in the
prescribe manner. Lets cry for the victims tonight and know justice was finally
I wish Gardner hadn't killed those innocent people, and none of this would be