Ronnie Lee Gardner executed by firing squad

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  • HCW
    June 22, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    D&C 42:19
    And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die.
    And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death.

    Alma 1:18

  • zoar63
    June 22, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    D&C 42:19
    And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die.

    LDS Liberal;
    How do you explain Alma 1:18?

    And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death.

  • Andersonsue
    June 22, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    Ronnie is in Heaven along with the lawyers that he killed. We will all experience the good and the evil that we have done once we pass this veil of life. And, all of us are guilty of sin.

  • Jasmine
    June 22, 2010 1:04 p.m.

    I think the Death Penelty is okay, what I don't think is okay is the jubilation people acted out. I don't think a 25 year wait is okay. I think that Ronnie Lee left alot of victims in his wake, victim family and friends, his family and friends, the people who had to carry out the order. All are Mr Gardners victims. I think when something like this is done, it should be done with proffesionalism and respect...I believe this happened. I think it is a somber event, and all of should act as such. I think no matter what, Ronnie Lee is Gods child, and Ronnie Lee has family somewhere. I think that for us, we need to carry this out as we would a birth, or a baptism, because crossing over is a big ordinance in everyones life. God will judge whom he will judge. We just need to love everyone. So as wierd as this seems, love needs to be allowed to be present, even if he is executed.

  • Screwdriver
    June 22, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    Killing sinners is not the christian way. This man had repented and had family he was having a good influence on. All this can do is make his innocent family wonder how the rest of society can be such cruel and completly thought out killers.

    If you support the death penalty you are a killer.

  • wild horses
    June 19, 2010 11:06 a.m.

    I agree 100 percent with Peter @ 7:08 a.m. June 18th.
    His comments says it all. The truth about our legal system.

  • washcomom
    June 19, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    Man against man, brother against brother. This is what it all comes down to in these days. And we haven't even begun yet.

  • LeAnn
    June 18, 2010 10:52 p.m.

    The worst thing about this whole thing is that IF this was going to be the outcome WHY does it take 25 yrs to figure it out. Do the families of the victims have to carry this burden so that the criminal can have his rights exercised? OUr laws are SO stupid sometimes. The victims remain the victims and the criminals are protected.

  • Bohonker
    June 18, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    It's over and done this point you all need to put it to rest and move on.

  • Rock
    June 18, 2010 8:51 p.m.

    Sorry Papal3ear... not much of anything you said makes sense. There is no truth there.

  • Richie
    June 18, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    GOOD, but he should have been executed 25 years ago. He was and still is a psychopathic killer.

    June 18, 2010 3:17 p.m.

    Gardner started his life being severely abused, he moved to huffing gasoline.
    Who is to say he was even mentally competent? Or coherent.
    Spent most of his life institutionalized.
    At the time of the murders his mentality was little more then a caged animal.
    Now obviously we can not release him into society, but would it really have been bad to leave him in prison, where he could live the only kind of life he has ever known.
    To most of us prison would be hell, to him it was home.
    And all these arguments about him getting out; when was the last time someone escaped from prison?
    Sometimes from a work crew,
    Or at a hospital when the officer does not follow rules and regulations.
    People do not escape from prison.
    No one but God is God, and only he and Gardner know if he had the mentality to commit a sin (or crime)
    Makes as much sense as executing a mentally challenged person.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    typo for "ignorant"


  • PapaI3ear
    June 18, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    you know, he will have a chance to be redeemed, even though he is in spirit prison right now, jesus has set up a plan for missionaries from paradise to go and teach those in teh spirit prison to give them a second chance if they wish to take it. i was awake at the time of the execution and i felt the feeling when he passed. he now has 1000 years of judgment, and i have a feeling he will be saved while in judgement

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:49 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal | 2:37 p.m.

    You are the one making all the ognorant, outlandish statements (such as the one above), and I am the nutcake?

    You want to remove God and His doctrines from the equation, and I am the nutcake?

    "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal..." (D&C 29:34)

    There are none so blind as he who will not see; none so deaf as he who will not hear.

    Your mind is made up. You do not want to be confused with facts.

    I am finished with you.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 2:37 p.m.

    James Madison | 1:46 p.m.

    Please, study, ponder, and pray over Alma 42. Pay particular attention to example Alm used in verse 19.


    I will, on Sundays in Sunday School, Priesthood, and Gospel Doctine -- even daily in my own home.

    But here is where I stand up against you and others --

    Everytime you nutcakes drag forgiveness, sin, and God into this - I get upset.

    This is a STATE issue,
    and I for one refuse to live in UTAH-iban!!!

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    From the Church's office web site, Newsroom, "Public Issues, Captial Punishment":

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment."

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    @ VIDAR | 2:21 p.m.

    Simply put, sir, you do not know what you are talking about.

    June 18, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    re: James Madison

    You are an embarrassment to your religon, read the official statement which was released yesterday.
    Your beliefs are in conflict with the offical lds church statement.
    Which one should be listened to?
    You or your church?

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    Pt. 2

    " '... and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land' (D&C 42:19, 79). In a headnote to the published account of this revelation, the Prophet specified the revelation embraced 'the law of the Church,' which might indicate that even when capital punishment does not result from murder the murderer dies as to things pertaining to the Spirit....

    "In summary, capital punishment is viewed in the doctrines of the Church to be an appropriate penalty for murder, but that penalty is proper only after the offender has been found guilty in a lawful public trial by constitutionally authorized civil authorities." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), p.255)

  • Dan Forward
    June 18, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    Clearly the Book of Mormon supports the death penalty.

    "Now, if there was no law given–if a man murdered he should die–would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?" Alma 42:19

    "But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered..." Alma 34:12

    "But if he murdered he was punished unto death..." Alma 30:10

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    Pt. 1

    "Ancient scriptures indicate that capital punishment is an appropriate penalty for murder. God said to Noah, 'And whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for man shall not shed the blood of man' (JST Gen. 9:12). And to Moses the Lord said: 'He that killeth any man shall surely be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). Thus it is clear that when the civil and religious authorities were combined, as in the days of the Old Testament prophets, capital punishment was the directed result.

    "In modern times with the separation of church and state, the power to take physical life is reserved to the state. Modern revelations do not oppose capital punishment, but they do not direct its imposition to civil government. In the same revelation where the Lord instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith, 'And again, I say, thou shall not kill; but he that killeth shall die,' the Lord made the application of capital punishment contingent on the laws of civil government: 'And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land…"

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    "Pay particular attention to example Alma used in verse 19."

    Please excuse typo.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 1:46 p.m.

    LDS Liberal, Midwest Mom, et al:

    Please, study, ponder, and pray over Alma 42. Pay particular attention to example Alm used in verse 19.

    Consider, long and hard, the elements of the "law," "sin," "punishment," "justice," "repentance," "mercy," and "atonement."

    June 18, 2010 1:45 p.m.

    RE: LDS Liberal

    I know that, Mormons are good people, and from what I have read today in the newspaper (which you quoted) it appears to me, that your leadership is not in support of it either.
    Unfortunately, every church has a few "wackos" that can create a poor image, and do not represent the religions beliefs.
    When people start to quote scripture, to try and prove a point, I cringe.
    People’s religious beliefs are their right, and in church they can discuss scriptures among themselves, but to a God fearing/believing person like you and I, speech like that of James Madison is blasphemy and embarrassing.
    We criticize the Muslims for not speaking out against its members that commit murder in the name of religion, and skew the religions beliefs to justify murder.
    It any different here? To the Taliban, they are committing justified executions in the name of their God.
    I do not think so, anytime someone uses religion to justify murder, you can be assured they do not represent the religion, but the religions rival (devil)

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    VIDAR | 12:46 p.m.

    I can assure you
    We're not all like that...

    but I will agree with your observations
    we do seem to be in the minority - particularly here in Mecca.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal | 12:36 p.m.

    You failed to answer three of my four questions.

    Your answer to D&C 42;19 is, without a doubt, the one of the most inept and convoluted interpretations of scripture I have ever seen. Everyone will "die" sooner or later! You know, in your heart of hearts, what that means. You simply refuse to admit your error.

  • CWEB
    June 18, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    "(Thou shalt not murder"...Requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.

    Forbids taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor, UNJUSTLY (Just taking of life includes self-defense, executions by the magistrate and times of war.); and, anything that tends toward depriving life.

    Based on an in depth analysis of the original Hebrew, Bible scholar Dr. Joel M. Hoffman concludes that "kill" is too broad but "murder" is too narrow to reflect tirtsah.[61] The Hebrew refers to all illegal killing, so it includes what is commonly called "murder" in English, but "manslaughter" as well. It DID NOT refer to legal killing, such as in war or in SANCTIONED retribution.

    In the fullness of the Old Testament Exodus 20:13 is abundantly evidenced as prohibiting unjust killing,[citation needed] rather than a universal injunction against all killing, as retzach is never used in reference to the slaying of animals, nor the taking of life in war, while its most frequent use is in reference to involuntary manslaughter and secondarily for murderers.

    June 18, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    I read the bible to feel closer to God, and to understand his ways.
    Maybe Mormons read scriptures a different way.
    Last night I saw a vigil of many religious people, who were opposed to the death penalty.
    I did not see the same vigil at the lds churches.
    Why is that?
    I have talked to members of the lds religion and always found them to be great people.
    And then Mormons like you get on here and try and use your scriptures (which many people do not believe in) to justify executions.
    It just seems to me that you are taking the most sacred and personal thing in your church, and using it in an evil way.
    Why is it that the other churches, who only have the bible: “get it”
    And the Mormons, that have so much of this so called “extra scripture” and revelations are so blood thirty for the execution of men like Gardner?

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 12:42 p.m.

    @ Midwest Mom | 12:25 p.m.

    I'll say it one more time, forgiving and holding criminals accountable are two entirely DIFFERENT things.

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many members of the Church regard it no more than a grocery store, moving up and down the aisles selecting what they will and will not accept.

    Please, study your scriptures and do some serious research in to the doctrines and teachings of the Restored Gospel.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    James Madison | 12:18 p.m.
    Secondly, yes, you are correct, it isn't murder when God approves.
    I didn't know GOD (spelled with a capital-"G") was up at the Utah State Capital.

    When did HE get elected Governor and sogn RGL's death warrant???

    And if you are LDS, then I would admonish you to study your scriptures.
    Yes, please do.
    It appears you skipped reading or understanding all the parts about mercy and forgiveness.


  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    James Madison | 11:51 a.m.
    How do you explain D&C 42:19?

    D&C 42:19
    And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die.


    This is the State of Utah,
    not a Mormondom UTAH-iban,
    I prefer to seperate Church and State.

    but if you insist....

    "...he that killeth shall die".

    Note that it didn't say "...he that killeth shall be killed."

    it said "shall die."

    Dying of natural causes while sitting in a State prison still conforms 100% to that scripture - nothing is lost....except maybe your side of the arguement.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal | 12:25 p.m.

    James Madison | 11:51 a.m.

    Who are you to judge another?


    And just what have you been doing throughout this thread?

    Please, explain.

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    @Frustrated in WA:
    Maybe you're frustrated because you realize killing someone accomplishes nothing. Neither Utah nor the United States is any safer today than they were yesterday or would have been as long as Ronnie Lee Gardner was securely locked up in prison. In my state, the punishment for murder is life in prison, and guess what? That's a safer alternative. Did you know that Texas executes far more criminals than any other state, and their murder rate is nearly double what it is in my state? Did you know that the 10 states with the highest murder rates in the United States ALL have the death penalty? Did you know that 6 of the 10 states with the lowest murder rates in the US DON'T have the death penalty? Did you know that in every year since at least 1990, murder rates in states with the death penalty have been higher than in states without it? More than 40% higher in recent years?

    Moral of the story: Being "soft" on the offender actually makes society safer. Go figure. So much for your "justice" argument.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    James Madison | 11:51 a.m.

    Who are you to judge another?

  • Midwest Mom
    June 18, 2010 12:25 p.m.

    To James Madison @ 8:03 a.m. Yes, Doctrine & Covenants Section 42:19 says "he that killeth shall die." It does not say who should do the killing. I prefer to leave such things to God. The point I was trying to make is that forgiveness is essential to healing. That was the point of the late President James E. Faust's talk on "The Healing Power of Forgiveness." Another good source is Doctrine & Covenants section 64:10 -- "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. and ye ought to say in your hearts--let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to they deeds." That's the only way to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. Since it picks at the wound for decades, I'm afraid that state-sponsored capital punishment does little to help victims and their families. In fact, it does the opposite.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    If what you seek is executions as a deterant to crimes,

    why not impale, behead, crucify, or hang criminals?

    Let people see what happens if the break the laws.

    The deterant argument is lame, invalid and a moot point.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    @ VIDAR | 11:53 a.m.

    "If god approves, then it isn’t murder, right?"

    First of all, it's "God" with a capital "G".

    Secondly, yes, you are correct, it isn't murder when God approves.

    And if you are LDS, then I would admonish you to study your scriptures.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    Dave E | 11:43 a.m.
    It's all about 100% consistency 100% of the time.


    I'm so glad to hear that.

    Now, show some integrity and stop speeding, texting, and talking on the phone while driving.

    RLG killed 2 innocent people in Utah 25 years ago.

    In the same time; 7,500 innocent people have died on our roads!!!

    June 18, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    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.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    James Madison | 10:27 a.m. June 18, 2010
    @ LDS Liberal

    You're lack of understanding is mind-boggling.


    How is that? please explain....


    How do you explain D&C 42:19?

    If the State, e.g., government, is in no position to carry out executions, then who is?

    Do you know how government became responsible for creating and enforcing laws?

    Do you understand the difference between "blood atonement" and what was quoted above by Brigham Young, which is NOT blood atonement?

    Please, explain.

  • Frustrated in WA
    June 18, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    When Ronnie Lee Gardner pulled the trigger HE CHOSE the PUNISHMENT. If you speed you know that if caught you will be ticketed. If you cheat on your taxes you will go to prison (or into politics). Justice is served when the offender pays his/her dept.

    People need to stop being soft on the offender and instead make them a burden to society.

  • Dave E
    June 18, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    What happens if you ever let a horse do something you don't want it to do? You'll never have control of that Horse and it'll continue to have it's way.

    What happens if you raise a child with rules but never or seldom enforce them? He/she will never obey those rules or take them or you seriously.

    What happens if you try to govern the people with laws but don't enforce them? . . . Same story.

    Utah has the death penalty and the law must be kept until changed. This law was put in place to maintain order and for the general well-being of the people.

    It's all about 100% consistency 100% of the time.

  • Heidi71
    June 18, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    Sorry for the Gardner family.

    But good riddence to the murderer, already.

    The Gardner appeals on the front page have become extremely tiresome.

  • Compassionateone
    June 18, 2010 11:31 a.m.

    Dear Bellyfull,
    Perhaps you did not read the article about the victims family, because you stated "they have been suffering for 25 years," in the article it clearly states, "we forgave him almost immediately after it happened, and their deceased member would not have wanted that ending for Gardener." As the article also states: "we need to have forgiveness."

  • 42istheanswer
    June 18, 2010 11:16 a.m.

    Even if you believe in the death penalty (which I do) you can't help but be sad when someone is killed. He has a daughter, granddaughter & a brother that despite his crimes still love him unconditionally. It is a sad time for his family despite everything else. Hopefully they can help others stay off the path that led Ronnie to his sad end.
    I hope this also brings closure to the victims' families. They did not deserve to be without their loved ones.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    slcgramma | 10:45 a.m.
    BTW, I'm not so sure the LDS Church supports capital punishment. Whether or not it does, I prefer the life-in-prison option.


    It makes me sad the church even has to make these kinds of many Utah Mormons will continue to celebrate State executions.


    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released this statement Wednesday:

    In the mid-19th century, when rhetorical, emotional oratory was common, some church members and leaders used strong language that included notions of people making restitution for their sins by giving up their own lives.

    However, so-called "blood atonement," by which individuals would be required to shed their own blood to pay for their sins, is not a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in and teach the infinite and all-encompassing atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes forgiveness of sin and salvation possible for all people.

  • ppoe
    June 18, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    I only wish they would add people who molest small children and babies to the death penalty list. The Sloots, I hope they were watching this. I know that people are thinking 25 years was too long, but if we are going to have the death penalty we need to be sure that everything possible was done right. It's like he got 25yrs to death, instead of 25 years to life.
    I pray for his victims family, his family, and those who had to personally be affected by the law of the land. Don't think it was a joyful time on the other side this morning at 12:17. He took his anger with him. He still has a lot to work out. God rest his soul, but am sure it won't be right away.

  • ebworthen
    June 18, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    24 years too late!

    24 years of meals and watching the sunrise that his victim did not have.

    Execution is not murder.

    Gardners execution is much less barbaric than his cold-blooded MURDER of his victim.

  • slcgramma
    June 18, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    I have to admit that I had mixed feeling about this issue. I felt bad for RLG's family, yet I realized the families of the victims felt that justice was finally served.

    I personally don't think the death penalty is the best way to punish a killer, and I was hoping those who made the decision woud change their minds. It must have been difficult for those officers involved in the execution. At the same time, the grandchildren of RLG will grow up knowing about his crime and execution.

    BTW, I'm not so sure the LDS Church supports capital punishment. Whether or not it does, I prefer the life-in-prison option.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    James Madison | 10:27 a.m. June 18, 2010
    @ LDS Liberal

    You're lack of understanding is mind-boggling.


    How is that? please explain....

  • Not So Fast
    June 18, 2010 10:36 a.m.

    It is sad to see so many celebrating the government killing a person. It doesn't deter, it isn't less expensive, the families of Gardner's victims don't feel peace and didn't want this death carried out and his ultimate judge is the same anyway. For people (generally) who believe in eternity, it seems strange that Gardner being killed by the state is so important or satisfying. He will ultimately die anyway and his eternal fate isn't changed. God or religion didn't kill this man, the state of Utah did.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    @ LDS Liberal

    You're lack of understanding is mind-boggling.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 10:18 a.m.

    down | 9:43 a.m.
    It would be nice to see something as large as the prison set up to help the miss fortune familys who strugle like his did in his early years, he may never have been in prison to begin with!!!


    Great idea --
    You must be a Liberal too!

    That is why we do should do what we do -- to STOP the next generation from growing up like this!!!

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    Scarlett | 9:39 a.m.
    Children must learn consequences of their actions.


    You want to teach your children?
    Try time-out.

    It's like prison for 2 year olds.

    All State Executions teach kids is;
    if you are bad, and break the rules -- the Government is big enough and powerful enough to come after you and kill you!

    I don't ever want ANY form of Government to EVER have have that much power.

    But, somehow that's OK with you?!

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    peacemaker | 9:36 a.m. June 18, 2010
    The deathe penalty serves the following:
    Ronnie Lee Gardner will not kill again
    Ronnie Lee Gardner will not escape again.....


    No - Mr. Gardner will not kill again.

    But the State of Utah will.


  • couragous
    June 18, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    For Ronnie Lee Gardner, justice has been served to the fullest. It's over. There is other news to report. Let's move on. Some have written about a movie about Ronnie life, a book in the making.
    The man was murder not a hero. It's over move on to other things in life.

  • Visions of compassion
    June 18, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    I am absolutely opposed to the death penalty. I find it unbelievable that it exists in communities like the State of Utah. They still kill people in the name of justice in an area that prides itself in following the teachings of Jesus Christ!

    The death penalty is pure violence, a barbaric and useless violence. Dangerous even, because it can only lead to other acts of violence--as all violence does. The supreme punishment ought to be a life sentence, and one without brutality.

  • down
    June 18, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    It is sad it took so long to to do what should have been done years ago. The funds taken from familys who have a hard time making ends meat to begin with. If it can not be done swiftly, it should not be done at all. But the lawyers drag these things out to line their pockets and feather their beds. No wonder why scripture has puts them at the bottom of the food chain as it were.

    I just hope Josie Greathouse Fox's killer faces a quicker justice! There is no room for these forms of life on this planet. I want a world where my children can travel and live in peace. Not a huge zoo of tyrants who feed off the backs of people trying to make a better world for everyone. It would be nice to see something as large as the prison set up to help the miss fortune familys who strugle like his did in his early years, he may never have been in prison to begin with!!!

  • Scarlett
    June 18, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    I agree with Mulder21. Those are sound principles. Thank you for your insight. This process is meant to be horrific! Maybe one of our youth who has followed this and is tempted to go down the same path will think twice before he becomes a murderer. Children must learn consequences of their actions. It is not okay and we should never accept it or condone it. When mercy overrides justice we will have mayham in this country. I see far too many that are blaming others and excusing themselves from any fault claiming mental illness, bad childhood etc. I also believe it is the humane thing to do. It is inhumane to keep them locked up for 25 years and put his family through this. This is a form of torture. It should have been done long ago while it was fresh in everyone's memory. The debt needed to be paid and only he could do it. I would have thought much more of him if he had maned up and given his life for those he has taken.

  • peacemaker
    June 18, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    The deathe penalty serves the following:
    Ronnie Lee Gardner will not kill again
    Ronnie Lee Gardner will not escape again
    Ronnie Lee Gardner will not stab other inmates again
    That is the reality of his execution
    Early esecution for his first murder would have saved the others.
    He knew right from wrong regardless of his upbringing. His acts were his own choice

  • Freedom
    June 18, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    His death doesn't bring justice. It doesn't bring back those he murdered. What it DOES do is guarantee that he WON'T kill anyone in the future. Anyone who has murdered anyone in such a cold blooded heartless way should be put to death. Not because it makes me feel better but because it keeps our families a little more safe. If you disagree, then you should seek out the statistics of crimes committed by repeat offenders....once read, come back and argue with me. There will be no argument left in you.

  • Observation-ist
    June 18, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    I used to be pro-Death Penalty. I did so because I believe there are acts the disqualify a person to be a member of society and I believed that the threat of death would deter killing. I no longer believe the Death Penalty is a deterent.

    I've decided that Life WITHOUT the POSSIBILITY of Parole accomplishes my wishes. RLG earned the right to be removed from society for the duration of his natural life. If 25 years ago (I know it wasn't an option) the system would have sent him away for the rest of his life and we didn't have to hear another thing about him, that would have been my preference. For those who refer to biblical passages, I presume you're Christian. If that's the case, you should also believe that RLG and others like him will receive the perfect form of justice. We don't need to let them off easy by killing them. Let them rot in prison, where they can think about their miserable life for as long as God leaves them on the earth.

    To the families of the victims ... I am so very sorry for your loss

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    And for those of you keep insisting on projecting religion into the debate - let me ask one question:


    Do you honest think he would he have signed that Death Warrant?

    (sorry, that was 2 questions)...

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    You people who keep using God and forgiveness for your rationalization of a STATE execution are no different than the Jews using the Romans.

    I'm not saying that Mr. Gardner was Jesus - but this is STATE issue, not a religious issue!!!

    Stop living in UTAH-iban!!!

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    I can't understand how a people who can't trust the State to take the money of a citizen -

    happliy empower and trust the State to take the life of one of it's citizens?

    Did anyone learn anything from WWII?

  • PAC
    June 18, 2010 8:50 a.m.

    Let it go and move on. That is all we can do now unless the law is change. Move on.......

  • David B.
    June 18, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    For those of you that think like EliseM,Midwest Mom and others don't get it.If it was your loved one you'd act like everyone else.But the trouble here is the the length between conviction and the application of the sentence.Why should the people foot the bill on the animals that killed our loved ones.These inmates think they have a country club in prison and once out they're lost dults that commit crime again because they don't have to support themselves.Well here's the jist of it,prison was mean't to be hard not a country country club.We now have the technology when used like its supposed to be(DNA andother techniques)To convict and on death penalty cases this 25 year should be reduced to the initial trial and 2 appeals not go over 18 Months in most cases.This would in my opinion slow down the execution rate becuse the thought of commiting these crimes would decrease you also take away all the their perks like TV,weight room,current events and such.

  • thelogicalone
    June 18, 2010 8:32 a.m.

    Quick question: Do the five marksman volunteer for this assignment, are they specifically recruited, does a general email go out to police officers in the state? I don't know if it is an easy assignment to take but to those 5 who did as their state asked them to do, thank you.

  • what?
    June 18, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    Gardner’s death did not bring his victims, Michael Burdell or Melvyn John Otterstrom back; as they were taken from this life 25 years ago. I am sure their families have suffered. Perhaps Gardner’s death will stop others from making the same mistake Gardner made in murdering innocence people. People need to realize there are consequences for actions.

  • Mulder21
    June 18, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    Brigham Young said “‘There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilled upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such were not the case, they would stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world…

    “‘It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet, men can commit sins which it can never remit… There are sins that can be atoned for… [only] by the blood of the man’” [p. 11, quoting Brigham Young, "The People of God Disciplined by Trials," "Atonement by the Shedding of Blood etc.," Journal of Discourses, 4:51, 53, 54, 1856).

    So the LDS church fully believes in captivate punishment. Maybe some of you should rethink your positions and stop saying that it is immoral.

  • Jonphone
    June 18, 2010 8:17 a.m.

    Let's face it. Sympathy must go to the family, but what one must realize is that the Death Penalty is not the cause of their suffering. Their FATHER's decision to end other peoples lives is what is causing their pain. RLG not only hurt the families of those he murdered, but also his own by putting himself in a situation where the death penalty is fully justified. People, he killed innocent men! If he had not killed them, then there would have been no death sentence. He is the one inflicting the pain on his family, not the judicial system. Let justice be served.

  • Jefferson
    June 18, 2010 8:09 a.m.

    At some point, this is no longer an issue of "justice," but of society's RESPONSIBILITY to protect itself from those who refuse to observe societal norms. Had Gardner been put to death immediately following his original murder conviction, his subsequent victims would have been protected. The same can be said of WA Tuttle who murdered a good friend of mine without the slightest provocation. Admittedly, our present application of the death penalty serves neither justice nor to protect society, but if it were applied within six months of sentence being passed, having been reviewed by an appointed panel, you would then see a deterent effect, a sense of "justice" and protection of society. Presently, murderers want to be on "death row" just because the "perks" are better and they know the chances of the penalty actually being applied are remote at best.

  • Jonphone
    June 18, 2010 8:07 a.m.

    Moral of the story, Don't kill anyone. If RLG hadn't killed anyone, we wouldn't be debating the question of the moral dilemma associated with the death penalty.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    @ Midwest Mom | 6:58 a.m.

    Obviously, you're LDS. I refer you to D&C 42:19. Forgiving someone of a crime does NOT remove the criminal's accountability and its requirements.

    If you have a testimony of the Restored Gospel, then you must have a testimony of the Doctrine & Covenants. If you have a testimony of the D&C, then you must have a testimony of what the Lord Himself declared in that passage.

    Part of learning how to become a god is learning how to meet out justice, painful as it may be. Remember, mercy cannot rob justice!

  • SpookyLilGirl
    June 18, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    For every story there are three sides. Yours Mine and Gods. Jesus told us to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasars and render unto God what is Gods.Im truly thankful that forgiveness abounds in Heaven because you sure don't find to much of it on earth.We that are left have no idea if Ronnie sought and found forgiveness, that is between him and God. But regardless of if he did or didn't the fact still remains that he is dead. 25 years ago his actions brought his life to an end today. Remember Jesus did not come to argue the letter of the law but to give us a way to be redeemed because of the law. To me the death penalty is horrible but non forgiveness is worse. I hope for all involved is you find the ability to move past this and let old wounds finally heal. And to his kids, God be with you.I can't imagine being a family member on either side if this issue.I can say however that I'm tired of all the anger and sadness.

  • cdcoleman
    June 18, 2010 7:24 a.m.

    While reading these comments, I realize how distant we are from realizing what God would expect from us. The Book of Mormon makes clear the justification of a death penalty. Even civil disobedience where a nation is threatened with destruction was justification for a death penalty. Justice is a very hard concept for all of us to comprehend but it is a necessary attribute of Deity. Mercy alone is not what makes God what He is. He is a God of both mercy and justice. We as a State have done what God would expect of us. Whatever mercy Ronnie Lee Gardner deserves is for God to decide now, not the State.

  • Dave E
    June 18, 2010 7:19 a.m.

    There must be laws to maintain order and peace, and there must be consequences to serve as a deterrent from committing crimes. Without the fear of consequences, our society would be chaos.

    June 18, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    His parting words to his daughter were, "Don't mourn my death – celebrate my freedom."

  • peter
    June 18, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    Man knows little of the meaning of true justice. Our judicial system is based on phoney appeals, profiteering, legal technicalities and loop holes, not upholding law. Tom Patterson says that our correctional facilities are just that, incarcerating people to help correct them(whether they want to be corrected or not). Rotting in prison changes few people and compensates no one fairly for wrongs committed. Working for the community helps rehab people gone astray.

  • Midwest Mom
    June 18, 2010 6:58 a.m.

    I think the death penalty is wrong because it turns criminals into a victims and the victims into angry, revenge-seeking proponents of state-sponsored murder. The victims' family members who forgave are so much better off. Those who longed for this execution will not find peace in this killing. They will still hate Gardner. Hate is a cancer that contaminates ever aspect of life. The only peace is forgiveness. "If we can find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have caused us hurt and injury, we will rise to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being." (James E. Faust, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, ENSIGN May 2007) I pity those who make such angry, hateful postings in support of capital punishment. I also feel for the people who are left to do this hateful job for the state, both the officials and those who pulled the trigger. Angry Joe Talk-show can sit comfortably in his home and beat his chest and talk big about getting the bad guys, but today, 5 people have to deal with what the state asked them to do last night.

  • Anti Bush-Obama
    June 18, 2010 6:50 a.m.

    In todays society we make a murderer into a hero and the victims into criminals. People will forget in 25 years what sloops did and we will have some bleeding heart no nothing on this board defending him.

  • Anti Bush-Obama
    June 18, 2010 6:44 a.m.

    When you people have a loved one murdered, I'm sure you wouldn't be calling the death penalty barbaric. It just boggles my mind how you can support abortion which is the killing of an innocent and not the death penalty. Personally I don't care either way if we have death penalties or not.

  • baddog
    June 18, 2010 6:36 a.m.

    @Attentive: ...RLG "would NOT be where he is today." Please pardon my typo.

  • baddog
    June 18, 2010 6:34 a.m.

    @Attentive: This certainly did not have to happen. Had RLG not murdered two innocent people, he would be where he is now.

    And those two victims likely would be alive today enjoying their families.

    Society has become filled with people who justify actions as always someone else's fault. People will continue to kill other people. Consequences will continue to arise from those actions.

  • Aker
    June 18, 2010 6:08 a.m.

    I abhor what this criminal did and my heart literally aches for the victims' families.

    Still, I'm pro-life in all my beliefs. I agree with several posters here who correctly point out that the "eye for an eye" quote has been taken out of context. The Savior I worship would not kill. I have faith enough in eternal justice to know that Mr. Gardner will get whatever he deserves.

    So will those who killed Mr. Gardner.

  • James Madison
    June 18, 2010 6:00 a.m.

    Jesus Christ said, "And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die." (Dcotrine & Covenants 42:19)

  • Liberal Ted
    June 18, 2010 5:55 a.m.

    I'm glad he worked things through and understands why he was executed. Now he is truly changed and can no longer harm society.

    His murders are not the failure of society. The murders he committed are his failures. There is no doubt that he committed the murders, which makes the death penalty just. If there was room for doubt that he didn't commit the murders, then I might be willing to keep him in for life.

    So every kid that sniffs glue or has so called "abuse" in their early child years are prone to murder? I don't think so. He was grasping at straws.

    Even Barack supporters claim that because of his childhood upbringing, is what is causing the "smartest" president to make every stupid decision he was making. So everyone with a troubled pass should be put behind bars for life, according to Gardners logic.

  • Commontater
    June 18, 2010 5:46 a.m.

    It's too bad a movie wasn't made of Mr. Gardner's life so the world could see everything that went on and how he got where he is. It should then be mandatory that every person in the country view it.

    The execution should have been carried out within the 1st year after his sentence and should also be broadcast live on TV for everyone to witness what happens.

    The room and board for those who take the life of another is way to comfortable. They have more rights than those who obey the laws and pay taxes.

  • Belly Full
    June 18, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    I am sick of all of the hooplah that surround this execution. The man is a cold blooded murderer, a MURDERER. He has slaughtered 2 (or 3) innocent men who were fathers, husbands, brothers, cousins, hard working normal folk, and Gardner just snuffed them out. Do his supporters think about them at all while they hold there vigil?
    The families of the victims have been suffering for 25 years without the hope that their loved ones will be coming home to them. Capital Punishment must be used more often and much sooner.

  • Deenohh
    June 18, 2010 4:46 a.m.

    Cynics comments are spot on. Jesus preached that we should be kind. forgiving and to love one another. He said "That which you do to the least of you, you do to me."
    I dont think the state and certainly not the "certified police offers" who made up the firing squad, should be involved in the killing of anyone as a form of punishment. Having convicted killers spend the rest of their life in prison in a restricted enviornment is a better detterent and more effective punishment. Texas, the assembly line of capital punishment states, has had an increase in murders since reinstituting capital punishment, so much for the deterence. Also, those who think criminals are living "comfortably" in prison are badly misinformed.

  • Rock
    June 18, 2010 4:38 a.m.

    And....all of this Bible quoting and contradicting is why there are so many religions who claim to "know". Grateful for a restoration. There is a fine line between justice and mercy and you cannot give either one too much weight. You cannot sacrifice either to satisfy the other. Our Lord and Savior will have the last say on all of this but we as mortals struggle with what we believe is fair. We are taught about repentance and change. A man who has murdered 2 and caused the death of a third cannot change his ways enough to satisfy justice without forfieting his own life. If we steal, we must return what we stole, if we murder, the only way to atone for that is to give up our own lives. This execution was the right thing to do, for him, and for us.
    If there was more of this there would be fewer innocent victims everywhere.

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    You know, it's bad enough when people try to quote the Bible to support capital punishment, but when they MISQUOTE it, that's really pathetic. Go read Matthew 5:38-39, and you will see that Jesus expressly rejected the "eye for an eye" mentality. Killing in the name of any religion is bad, but killing in the name of Jesus demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of everything the Prince of Peace taught and stood for.

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 3:19 a.m.


    What Jesus REALLY said about "an eye for an eye":

    "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;
    "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-39)

    Jesus rejected the "eye for an eye" mentality, he didn't endorse it. He also told his followers to show love and compassion, not anger, hate and hostility.

  • lionofusa
    June 18, 2010 3:00 a.m.

    This execution is not Revenge or Retribution. It is simply the protection of innocent citizens from a violent murderer. By Ronnie Lee Gardner's heart being stopped by 4 bullets, he is now unable to murder again. It is a shame that he was not executed 25 years ago. This was not Swift Justice, but it was Certain. Better Late than never.

    Peace to All.

  • Encouraged
    June 18, 2010 2:54 a.m.

    I believe the death penalty is a clear form of justice borne by the jurors and those who passed the laws permitting this type of resolution to violent and heinous crime and criminal behavior.

    What makes it problematic is that it is not distributed evenly across all classes in our society. There are lots of people who grow up from abusive families who choose not to kill others to act out their aggressiveness and revenge.

    The key lies in something I don't clearly understand, and that is how deception works within the criminal mind. I think if we had a better understanding of this process, many would embrace this form of justice as a sure remedy and deterrent to violent and vicious crime by rejecting the idea that any fantasy, even if life threatening or life ruining, as in killing/murder, is not sufficient to be considered akin to mercy.

    As a society we need to be protected from vicious criminals and the fantasy that deep down they are really good people. Capital punishment does this by making their rationalizations and nonsensical pleas come to an appropriate ending in death.

  • denniscav
    June 18, 2010 2:42 a.m.

    We are a much less of a cicilized society whenever vengence and revenge are heeded at the expense of human life and dignity.

  • whodunnit
    June 18, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    @ attentive, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6), is what the Lord said to Noah, well before the Law of Moses was instituted.

  • SloeGinFizz
    June 18, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Attentive made my point for me while I was registering. Jesus brought a New Law, He never said, "An eye for an eye." If you must quote, then please know who and what you are quoting.

    I used to believe that capital punishment was fine, but then I realized that it's impossible to value life and agree with the state taking it at the same time. I pray for the day when life without parole replaces state-sanctioned killing. I will never again believe that execution is acceptable. It's immoral, and all it does is show that Utah and the other states that practice it think life is cheap. It's not justice--it's just another murder by a different name. And it diminishes all of us.

  • Cal Coug
    June 18, 2010 2:06 a.m.

    My only regret is that it took 25 years for justice to be served. To all those who feel badly for him, it's really a shame that you can't see what ignoring justice will do to our society. His victims' blood "cried from the ground to the Lord for vengeance." A just society needs strict laws. Killing a murderer is not evil. It's administering justice. Punishing the rest of society by letting them live comfortably in prison for 25 years is a much greater miscarriage of justice.

  • mikemcb1
    June 18, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    "No court has given us a full and fair adjudication," attorney Andrew Parnes told reporters. Well Mr. Parnes what "full and fair” adjudication did Gardner give to those he robbed and MURDERED during his escape? You got your money Mr. Parnes, now go chase another ambulance and tie up the courts so you can rack up your client's bill. And to "attentive", you'd better go back and re-read your Bible; Jesus said that he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Just as He told the woman caught in the act of adultery, "I don't condemn you either, go there for and sin no more." Gardner must have missed that day in Sunday school.

  • attentive
    June 18, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    To all of you who feel the need to keep "quoting" the Bible: 'An eye for an eye' was the Law of Moses. If you know your Bible, what did Jesus say about the Law of Moses? Well? This particular execution didn't need to take place; it really didn't.

  • Tumbleweed
    June 18, 2010 1:16 a.m.

    The only one who made this difficult was RLG and his attorneys. They stalled it out 25 years adding enormous cost to the process. In cases such as this, where the identity of the killer is absolutely certain, the mistakenly-executing-an-innocent-person argument does not hold up. Furthermore, exonerations have occurred because of DNA testing. Now that we have DNA testing, uncertainly can be greatly minimized. The Oklahoma City Bomber was executed in 6 years from the date of the blast. Shortening the appeals process is doable. We need to do it and we need to bring back the firing squad. It's very quick, reliable and humane.

  • jagged1
    June 18, 2010 1:13 a.m.

    Elise- Teach your children that if they do wrong, they end up like gardner. He had no remorse until he saw the end. I'm sure if he could have escaped, he would have and hurt someone in the process.

  • Bankshot7
    June 18, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    Ronnie died to pay his debt to society for what he did. We will ll someday die and will pay our debt for our own sins. No one gets out of here alive and we will all pay our debt for what we have done, both large and small. Ronnie was lucky, he was able to leave his burden behind and move forward. We all have to continue to bear our burdens until our day comes to be releived from them. Rest in peace RLG.

  • jsl987
    June 18, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    I wish he could have just been kept, for a very very unbearably long time, until time ended for him, in prison. It would have cost us UT taxpayers less, it is a much more effective form of punishment, and it just might have been an opportunity for this individual to do right. I am so sorry that this person was killed in Utah tonight.

  • M
    June 18, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    An eye for an eye,
    And a tooth for a tooth.
    A life for a life,
    And a truth for a truth.

  • gregaman
    June 18, 2010 1:00 a.m.

    EliseM i guess you have never had a loved one murdered , you cant explain how you feel , Jesus said and eye for and eye , now get out of this country and go to Iran where things are so much different, get a life !! better than that take another murderous monster to the same chair , , i agree with Chuckie , the world is a better place , end of his story.

  • Steven Harper
    June 18, 2010 1:00 a.m.

    M. said it best, "Ronnie Lee Gardner will never kill again, but the state of Utah will." State-sanctioned, premeditated murder... It lets us know who we REALLY are.

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    The world may be a better place without him, but it's a worse place because of what we did to him.

    June 18, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    What can one say at such a moment... we should all prepare for eternity.

  • GoodGuyGary
    June 18, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    Ronnie, I hope you and your victims can all now rest in peace.

  • chuckie
    June 18, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    You know, it's always sad to see someone die, but knowing in this case, that the world is a better place without him, brings a sense of peace.

  • EliseM
    June 18, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    I will never understand how anyone can consider the death penalty a form of justice. Ronnie Lee Gardner's death didn't bring back those he killed 25 years ago - it served no purpose other than to illustrate that people haven't evolved beyond barbaric acts of violence and cruelty. How can we teach our children the difference between right and wrong when our "justice" system doesn't even seem to be able to distinguish between the two? What Gardner did was wrong, but killing him didn't negate that wrong - only added to it.