Ronnie Lee Gardner's life ends with hardly a word

Witnesses not certain he died immediately

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  • owlmaster2
    June 28, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    I'd much rather face a firing squad than be locked in a cell 24/7 knowing that's where I'm going to die of old age. That would be the worst punishment I can think of.

  • CaseyA
    June 28, 2010 5:10 p.m.


    I'm not sure it is all as simple as that. Is his daughter's life harder because of his choices? Yes, but that isn't unusual. Often choices made by parents harm children. From her perspective, is it different for him to be jailed versus dead? I don't know. I will leave that up to her.

    Ultimately, I don't think killing as punishment is a particularly problematic approach to dealing with criminals. I do think those who pass judgment should also execute but that is a different question.

  • attentive
    June 24, 2010 1:00 p.m.

    When I have looked at the photo of the execution chair, I, like someone else who commented here, can plainly see that the marksmanship of those who executed Ronnie Lee Gardner was far from perfect - far from even "good." At 17 feet distance, ANYone should be able to hit a 2 x 2 inch target. I think I could have hit it by throwing a rock. Rest in Peace to ALL the victims - Ronnie Lee included.

  • Screwdriver
    June 22, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    Just the agony on his daughter's face is enough for me. I allready opposed the death penalty on the bases of our legal system being corrupt but his daughter hadn't done anything wrong.

    For her to have her first hug from her father since she was 3 the same day he would be killed is just a crime against her.

    What did she do to deserve that? I'm sure she understood why he had to be in jail but her agony now came from Utah's sense of unholy vengence. If you support the death penalty you are a killer as well.

    And you can't really be a christian and support the killing of repentant sinners as a sacrifice.

  • patriot
    June 22, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    I can see putting those who torture and brutalize to death - Ted Bundy. Charlie Manso, etc... But for all others (including Gardner) I don't see the justifiication for the death penalty. Life in prision without parole in a maxium - no frills - prision would be enough. The death penalty is gruesome and inhuman and should only be reserved for the worst of the worst. Gardner is a murderer and the pain he has caused the victims familes will never be quenched but did he torture his victims .. no.

  • usmcvetdeb
    June 19, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    To the Victims families may you have a life of love and peace. To the family of Mr.Gardener may you have the same. All will be in my prayers. May the Lord lift you up and give you strength.

    With sympathy to all,
    Deborah Strong
    United States Marine Corps

  • usmcvetdeb
    June 19, 2010 10:00 p.m.

    I am very private about my political and spiritual thoughts. The only thing I will share is how appalled I am with are the marksmen on the firing squad. Because only four rounds are fired and the fifth is a blank so each member of the squad can pose the question in their conscience of they were one of the team who actually put a person to death. This is reasonable and compassionate for them. What I am HORRIFIED about is the firing squads lack of skill. The bullseye target was only 17 FEET away from where the shots were fired from. From the pictures of the death chair only one round struck the target where the kill shot was to be. Shame on them. I am a female marine and wear the insignia of an excellent marksmen. This means I can hit a target at 500 yards directly in the bullseye with a service rifle(no scope used). These men were 17 feet away and only ONE was on the target for the kill shot. Though I would not want to have had this job at least I would have been true to whom I was to kill.

  • snowman
    June 19, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    JRJ: If he did repent he will be forgiven but he will suffer the consequences of his actions.

  • snowman
    June 19, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    JBs: The LDS church has nothing to do with this.

  • Allmystrustsinjesus
    June 19, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    I personally don't own a cell phone but I agree with everything else you say LDS Liberal

  • LDS Liberal
    June 19, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    My final word on this thread --

    I'm totally against the State or Government having the ultimate power and authority to decide who lives and who dies, period.

    The Europeans don't have such laws because of the horrors committed by abuse of such laws during WWII.

    From a people who once had the State issue an "Extermination Order", I am sadder still.

    Keep the Government out of the execution business.

    Ronnie Lee Garner won't ever kill again -
    but the State of Utah will.

    BTW - If you want to save innocent lives -- each of you should slow down and don't text or use a cell phone while driving.

  • Allmystrustsinjesus
    June 19, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    All of you people sound as blood thirsty to me as RLG was. God is the only one who can take a life and don't you think that God had already sentenced Mr. Gardner to death he had luekemia can you imagine a life in prison with no medical care to speak of for a disease like luekemia how much suffering you would go through, the pain and the sickness....that was Gods sentence to Mr. Gardner and yet the state of Utah chose to overlook God's sentence and chose to carry out their own. and as for the money aspect if you do your research it costs an average of 37 Million dollars to us taxpayers to take a deathrow inmate through the appeal process and finally execute them and it costs an average of 11 million to house/feed them on a life sentence. However this should not be about the money...Murder is wrong, Period!!! God had the siruation under control to where RLG would have suffered more than any of his victims did and Utah just gave him his freedom with no more suffering and no pain guys screwed up!!!

  • LDS Liberal
    June 19, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    Cats | 3:12 p.m. June 18, 2010
    Dear LDS Liberal: I don't believe you are really LDS.


    Born, raised, and card-carrying since 1977.

    I'm truely sorry that is so difficult for you to believe.

    I am however curious,
    What was it exactly that I have said that makes you believe that I am not active LDS and not in good standing?

    [BTW - Thanks Sutton | 4:07 p.m.]

  • Broken Hearted Mother
    June 19, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    Being the mother of a Murder Victim there is no pain like that of someone taking the life of your loved one. And as with my case this family chose to think only of their feelings not the feelings of the victims families. Murder is not just a mistake you can say I have changed for. He needed to pay for his choice to kill. He did not give his victims a choice but yet he got to live for years and then chose the way to die himself. I send the families of the victims my thoughts and prayers and I pray that his family starts to think of the suffering their family member inflicted on others and show enough compassion to NOT inflict more pain. If a member of my family took the life of another I could not bear to add to that pain by not giving them a day to possibly find a small amount of closure.

  • dollemom
    June 19, 2010 3:34 a.m.

    Perhaps being from IL you are unaware of what happened here in "Happy Valley," UT last week. A young woman was out for a walk on a nature trail and was attacked by a man who pulled her off the trail, into the bushes, and raped her, then beat her severely- including breaking her jaw, and left her for dead. Who is the alleged assailant? Just such an inmate as you're suggesting- out working in the community, he escaped the day before from those "Heavily armed guards." Only he was in for minor crimes such as theft and drugs. You might want to rethink that, "Let's put murderers on the community workforce" idea. I sure don't want them working on my roads!

  • cuchlane
    June 19, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    As sad as the taking of a life may be, as Donne said no man is an island, there is no doubt the world has become more violent and locking up murderers is not a fair exchange for the lives they took. As an English writer resident in Spain, I commend Utah for having the moral courage to deter killers and defend its population with the ultimate deterrent of an eye for an eye.

  • Solomon
    June 19, 2010 2:29 a.m.


    "Condolences to his victims and their families and to his family as well. Brighter days will follow."

    You have no right to talk about his victim's family or to use them to advance your agenda.

    The family of the person he's being executed for killing DID NOT want him executed so leave them out of it. There is a reason that the only family member quoted in the article is that of a guy who was only WOUNDED and not killed. Why she was even allowed to attend this execution when she was not the family of a victim of a crime someone can be executed for escapes me. What's next? The family of a store clerk who was robbed will be allowed to attend the executions of someone who commits a murder 10 years after the robbery?

    If I was the family of someone who was killed and you dared use my family in this manner you will see about your brighter day when. Do you have no shame? Do you have no compassion or do you intend to victimize them more to advance your agenda? You are truly evil.

  • Solomon
    June 19, 2010 2:18 a.m.

    vic | 8:32 p.m. June 18, 2010
    "How backwards we've become in some ways!"

    "Best solution is no rules, no laws; everyone for themselves, since is what some of you out there want."

    I don't even feel like responding to your post since all it shows is that there are really evil people like you voting for other really evil people and there's nothing we can do about it. You will do what you want and so will your neighbor who represents you. Justice doesn't mean anything you and you use it to make yourself feel good and powerful. You can vote, you can serve on juries and if your vote is wrong that is fine too. If it kills someone that is fine too and the people on death row who were convicted and appealed for decades only to be proven innocent should accept that it is the rules and the laws and they had the opportunity to stand before 12 of their ignorant neighbors and let those neighbors vote to kill them, an innocent person, for something they didn't do. Do they get to vote to kill their evil juror neighbors?

  • Pam in Illinois
    June 19, 2010 1:45 a.m.

    To Enough: Have you ever seen prison inmates out on the road working? There are supervised by heavly armed guards. It isn't a frolick out in the sunshine. It is hard labor. It would save a lot of money having to pay people to do it. I would rather see the money go to other systems who need it more. You might need to study the New Testament a little more often. What would Jesus do?

  • mark
    June 19, 2010 1:00 a.m.

    techhie211|1:31 p.m. June 18, 2010

    Perhaps a better idea would be to allow the people to arm and protect themselves, rendering all this a moot point. An armed person is rarely a victim, and if someone is stupid enough to get killed in a robbery, rape etc. attempt, they deserved what they got.



    You've gotta be kidding me!

    Okay, conservatives, I know most of ya don't agree with this guy, but you know something? He's on your side.

  • enough
    June 19, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    Do you REALLY want prison inmates doing Community service..fixing roads? And where does it say that the death penalty is wrong? This has nothing to do with the law of Moses. I believe it is for HIS own good to give up his life if he has any chance at all at being saved! I sure don't want guys like this fixing my roads..Sheesh!

  • mark
    June 19, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    vic|8:32 p.m. June 18, 2010
    "How backwards we've become in some ways!"

    Indeed, why have justice at all? Let's forget the laws and rules that bind a society. Let's just close all prisons, why have police to enforce the rules of a society. why even have a court system.

    Best solution is no rules, no laws; everyone for themselves, since is what some of you out there want.


    Uh. . . so, uh. . . so who said that that is what they want? Who "out there" said that is what they want?

    Wow. Just wow.

  • snowman
    June 18, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    readAbook: What compassion did he show his victims.

  • snowman
    June 18, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    Brother Chuck: whether or not he was a mormon had nothing to do with it.

  • vic
    June 18, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    "How backwards we've become in some ways!"

    Indeed, why have justice at all? Let's forget the laws and rules that bind a society. Let's just close all prisons, why have police to enforce the rules of a society. why even have a court system.

    Best solution is no rules, no laws; everyone for themselves, since is what some of you out there want.

    I know, let's install a system found in the movie: Excape from New York. Throw all the pick-pockets, rapists, arsonists - all together and let them fight it out.

  • enough
    June 18, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    Mike in Sandy...Loved your comment.

  • enough
    June 18, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    Personally, I think he should have been executed a long time ago instead of being supported by our tax dollars. I don't think he is remorseful at all....he killed 2 innocent men and he lived longer than they were able to. You would think that he would at least said he was sorry as his last words! Good Riddance.

  • mark
    June 18, 2010 6:57 p.m.

    Rox|11:28 a.m. June 18, 2010
    Hey MarkyMark...Yup. You bet.


    MarkyMark? Well okay.

    Well your lack of maturity is one of the reasons you would have never been choosen to be a member of the firing squad. Imagine being proud that you would want to be unprofessional in a situation like that.

  • David B.
    June 18, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    I support the death penalty but what I don't support is sitting on death row for 25 years at our expense! We have the technology now to totally confirm the identity of a suspect if not see him actually do it. The constitution provides us with a fair trial and appeals process but thanks to the whiners somehow they get appeal after appeal after appeal and this has stop.Even though the system does need to be fixed though,prison is not suppose to be a country club like it is now.Mandatory 8 hrs hard labor,grow their own produce(but that depends on climate)Calif.has a couple of prisons that grow their own food.

  • Peace
    June 18, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    Yet another sad chapter in this the most peculiar culture in the United States.
    Killing people for any reason will come back to haunt all those that expouse this god-playing tragedy.

  • JRJ
    June 18, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    One commenter did make a point: who were his victims and what were the circumstances? I don't live in Utah and have no knowledge of those circumstances. I'm glad he has "repented", but no amount of repenting in the world won't undo murder and bring back those lives he took.

  • 24601JeanValJean
    June 18, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    That is a good argument, although I wouldn't ever call ending a life safe, compassionate, or humane. Neither is life in prison.
    However I'd still side with life in prison because of the rare occasion when new evidence emerges, the conditions in modern prisons being less cruel than it ever has been (If you see prison as a defensive maneuver of removing danger from society and not as a deterrent), and the possibility of true redemption happening.
    For those who believe the death penalty isn't being used as a deterrent tool, why a firing squad? Why the ritual, the show?! It could be less painful and less foreboding if we wanted it to be only about removing the individual from being a threat.
    For the comment about Jesus saying nothing about the death penalty..what a hoot! He also didn't say anything about the ipad..

  • Jason F.
    June 18, 2010 4:57 p.m.

    "We must send the message that we value human life so highly that, if you take a life, YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR OWN."

    No, we must show that we value life by showing that we will not even murder those who commit murder themselves. Otherwise we're saying: "Hey, life is really valuable and you deprived someone of it, so we're going to kill you now to show how valuable life is."

    "You may not like it, and if you can't accept it you most likely "believe" you support justice but you don't really. You just waffle your way through life thinking murderers sitting in a cell, wasting away is somehow justice."

    How about we turn this around - if you support the death penalty you may "believe" you support justice but you don't really. You just waffle your way through life thinking murderers being murdered by the state is somehow justice.

    The death penalty is not justice - in fact, it's actually antithetical to the notion of justice. You've just fooled yourself into thinking otherwise.

    How sad.

  • Sutton
    June 18, 2010 4:07 p.m.

    "Dear LDS Liberal: I don't believe you are really LDS."

    Dear Cats, I feel that LDS Liberal exemplifies what LDS is then you do...

  • Pam in Illinois
    June 18, 2010 3:58 p.m.

    Usually I am not on the side of LDS Liberal or Visions of compassion, but in this case I most certainly am. If we also believe the New Testament to be the word of God, then we should know that the law of moses was done away because of Jesus. The death penalty is wrong. On the other hand.....prison ought not to be so comfortable and have these murderers get a college education with three meals a day. Utah roads could use some work and I am sure there are many more uses for people who do not like to follow the law.

  • CJL
    June 18, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    There seems to be a lot of chatter against capitol punishment. To those against capitol punishment, consider this --- To me life in a small prison cell for the duration of my life IS cruel and unusual punishment. Until the time comes when we can imprison criminals with the freedom to be free and productive in an economical and just way without risking the lives of others, then the only compassionate, safe and humane option is to end their life. It's not worth the risk to society, cost to the rest of us and suffering of the imprisoned to do otherwise.

  • Cats
    June 18, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    Dear JBs: I did not espouse blood atonement.

  • JBs
    June 18, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Cats, the LDS church does not espouse blood atonement anymore. It is only alive and well in Utah LDS culture, which is NOT doctrine or part of the LDS church.

  • Cats
    June 18, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    Dear LDS Liberal: I don't believe you are really LDS.

  • bigfatdogeatingpizzaandbarking
    June 18, 2010 3:02 p.m.

    techhie211, just saying that I believe that America has changed for the worse. As I noticed, the only countries that don't believe in rehabilitation or people that don't believe in rehabilitation are countries that believe in hate, Muslim countries, countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Afghanista, countries that makes women wear Burkas, countries that treat women really bad, even whole continents like Africa, and the United States.

    Countries that care about people, countries that are more advanced like Canada, England, Sweden, Norway, etc. even Mexico believe in rehabilitation. They don't have a death penalty.

    People don't think about the consequences. We are the ones that sit back and think of what is right. Maybe, we could do something right. Maybe, we could look at rehabilitation. Death penalty didn't work for Gardner. Death penalty just doesn't work. Why can't we use something that does work.

  • badskiboy
    June 18, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    Some day we will be the worlds worse end.
    The human being ist the worse of all animals on this planet.
    I'm ashamed from our doing.
    Who give a human the right to kill an other human?
    Nobody....and it will not make the sin go away or the victim alive again.....
    Every bad person will be get punished on judgement day and only the Lord will make this decision.
    God forgive them, because they don't know what thet doing!

  • bigfatdogeatingpizzaandbarking
    June 18, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    techhie211, stop signs? Do people stop at stop signs because they can be punished. Maybe. What about when there is no one around, do people still stop? I would think that they can't be punished if there is no one there to punish them. Then millions of people wouldn't stop at stop signs, red lights, run overing curbs, running over pedestrians, etc. If it isn't the punishment that stops them, what is it. It could be that they just want to do the right thing. The stop sign is there so they stop. They don't want to hurt anyone so they don't run over the pedestrian. Some people can't be punished for not stopping at stop signs but they still do it; it cold be that it is just the right thing to do.

    Maybe, it isn't the punishment; really is that what it is for you? If it was night and no one could see you go through a red light or a stop sign, I believe you have other reasons why you stop, just doing the right thing.

    New Testament is the completion of the Bible, by showing love, Jesus.

  • preethi
    June 18, 2010 2:31 p.m.

    I feel "sorry" for him.Yes what he did was wrong when he was 23 and 24. I would blame his youth and wrong upbringing(his step dad took him for robberies).He must have changed over the years and so many years behind the bars was enough penalty(being in the prison since the age of 23or24 he hardly saw the good side of life).When I read the comments most of them are merciless, cruel and cold. I think those people who are more concerned about "taxpayers money" than for mercy are bigger murderers. If we are told that only the sinless should throw the 1st stone(pass judgement), none of us would be here.Also God desires "mercy". Mr Gardner is now liberated from all the shackles and prisons and I hope he made the right choice of accepting Jesus to live the eternal life God promised.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 2:29 p.m.

    Cats | 1:43 p.m.
    But, it is the only way true justice can be done. Would you rob the criminal of his opportunity to pay for his crime and work toward his forgiveness in the next life?

    Wait a second --

    1. true justice? This is a State issue.

    2. If it is about a sinner and forgiveness - Stop using the Governemnt from "FORCING" redemption on people - that is against free agency.

    If that is what you want, allow a criminal to commit suicide.
    Keep the State out of the business of taking lives.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    garrjo | 11:57 a.m.
    Their can be no doubt that the Old Testament teaches capital punishment.


    1. This is a State law - not God's Law.

    2. You can't pick and choose what OLD tesament laws to accept and reject.

    If you insist of living them,
    Change the laws and call for public executions of adulters,
    People with flat noses, the blind or the lame can not go to church,
    Don't graze cattle with other cattle,
    Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric....

    and my all time favorite;
    Anyone with a different religion should die.

    Is that what you want?

  • Cats
    June 18, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    Dear kkodey: There's no such word as "irregardless."

    Christ said nothing in opposition to the death penalty for murder. He also stated that his purpose was not to take anything away from the prophets. To say it was God and not Christ who made statements in favor of the death penalty is ludicrous. Christ IS God. Christ and his Father are one in purpose and in the commandments.

    Look, I understand why someone wouldn't like Capital Punishment. It is a very gruesome thing. But, it is the only way true justice can be done. Would you rob the criminal of his opportunity to pay for his crime and work toward his forgiveness in the next life?

    These occassions are tragic, but it's something that just has to be done. So sad for everyone.

  • grj
    June 18, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    Brainuser @ 11:09: Please Google "exoneration project" and let us know what you think then. Now THAT would be a sign that your name is meaningful

  • Not So Fast
    June 18, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    Quoting the Old Testament to use ancient Hebrew laws by Christians (those who follow Christ and believe what he said regarding his role and "The Law") is interesting and convenient for those who think somehow justice was served. Absurd.

  • AF ret
    June 18, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    1. The death penalty was never meant to be a deterrant against crime. It is a way of permanently removing a person from this life so that he/she does not kill another person.
    2. Nobody reejoices when an execution takes place. We just re-examine our own consciousness, our own values, our own faith (or lack thereof).
    3. For all you Christians out there: That we should forgive always and leave the judgement up to Him. He also taught that "if you have ought with thy brother, go to him" and (basically) square things up with him BEFORE you come to me (Christ) to ask for forgiveness. An executed murderer can go to his REAL victim to make amends and ask for forgiveness from the one who was murdered. THAT victim spirit/person now has the opportunity to grow in their own right by giving that forgiveness (if they desire to do so). There IS God-given forgiveness for taking one's life - but ceretain eternal laws have to be followed to achieve it, some of which take place after we leave this mortal life.

  • techhie211
    June 18, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    A few thoughts...
    Visions of compassion said: "Some follow the teachings of the brutal Old Testament god..." God is God, Jesus' father. Though you might think him to be brutal, he is the same person as Jesus, according to the bible

    Bigfatdog... said: "...Has the punishment ever stopped me or you from doing the wrong thing..."
    Of course it has, that and my self respect. Otherwise, what would be the point of stop signs, etc. Now, I'm not sure what (if anything) keeps YOU from doing the wrong thing.

    Like many others have said in these comments, we need to reduce the appeal time so we don't end up supportsing these scum for 25 years. Especially the ones who've admitted what they've done.
    Perhaps a better idea would be to allow the people to arm and protect themselves, rendering all this a moot point. An armed person is rarely a victim, and if someone is stupid enough to get killed in a robbery, rape etc. attempt, they deserved what they got.

  • Fiscal Hawk
    June 18, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    Two things are certain...he will never kill again and the world just because a safer place.

  • 24601JeanValJean
    June 18, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    I don't think it works like a speed limit "well I better slow down or I might get a ticket" Do you think that a killer's mind thinks like that? "well if I follow through here and get caught, the worst they'll do to me is life is prison, ha ha suckers!" Premeditated or not, I don't think you'll find much rational thought going on in there. A deterrent will work only when we intelligently consider the consequences of our actions. It doesn't apply for these types of crimes. Ones so emotionally based.

  • LOL
    June 18, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    I see the wacky blood atonement people are alive and well.
    These are the same people that supported a bogus cowboy for president, America's first and only preemptive war, torture, and most likely the snuffing out of innocent people's lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    When you meet these types you find they are the happiest and anger-free people on Earth.

  • bigfatdogeatingpizzaandbarking
    June 18, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    Garrjo, yes, the old testament demanded death.

    The New Testament says to live by love.

    When I was young, I believed in getting even. I was probably as bad as anybody. As I have become older, hopefully a little wiser, I think there is a time for punishment, and there is a time when I realize punishment just doesn't work.

    If I can get someone to really care about me, I don't have to punish them. I own some businesses, and I have about a hundred people that work for me, and I help out my friends that own similiar businesses, and that adds a couple of hundred more people that I manage.

    I have come to realize, love is a good way to be in control. I care for everyone that works for me. They see that in me. As a result, they like being with me. They do so much more for me, then they would for someone else. Love can change people.

    Maybe, we could rehabilite people and treat them right instead of saying, "oh, let's just put them away forever or let's take their life." I know I have made mistakes.

  • 24601JeanValJean
    June 18, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    "Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" It sickens me that some of you argue about the difference between murder and kill, that some of you find a sense of relief and even enjoyment in this grotesque act.

    There is NO moral difference between this and the horrifying beheadings overseas. It's not semantic debate..I don't need a lawyer or linguistics professor to figure out if something I'm doing is wrong. The justification that some are coming up with is frightening and emotionally based.
    How backwards we've become in some ways!

  • jarpuggy
    June 18, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Peru and most other countries much more civilized. No jails like Guantanamo, and no capital punishment. O well, it's a kind of self purification to kill a mean man. Pity.

  • sunny-one
    June 18, 2010 12:39 p.m.

    I am not sure how I feel about the death penalty in general, but in this case it seems warranted and justice seems to have been served. For those who have been so enraged about the use of the firing squad as the means of execution, remember: that is what he picked. Condolences to his victims and their families and to his family as well. Brighter days will follow.

  • CWEB
    June 18, 2010 12:37 p.m.

    Well said Chase!

    This man has paid a mortal price for his actions. We now forgive him as Christ taught. But forgiveness does not come prior to paying a penalty.

    Taking SEVERAL lives...Mr. Gardner is responsible for his own death, not the state, not the people who ended his life. Mr. Gardner's decisions were his own. He lost the right to make decisions for his own life.

    God has always sanctioned loss of life for murder, what Bible are you people reading?

    Christ did not say to the men on the cross, it is unjust what is being done to you...even the one man on the cross corrected the one who railed on the Saviour..we deserve what is happening to us, this man has done nothing.

    Do not compare Christ (a perfect, innocent man) being murdered by "he state" to a guilty man paying for his crimes. His punishment is equal to his crime and may even benefit him in the next life...where I promise...he will continue to pay for his crimes. As all of us will if we do not accept the attonement...

  • bigfatdogeatingpizzaandbarking
    June 18, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Sometimes when I reflect on what has happened for the day, I am reminded of how we have changed or who we have become.

    Look at our neighbors, Mexico and Candada. They believe in rehabilitation; they don't have the death penalty.

    Look at who we have joined, the ones that have the death peanalty, Middle Eastern countries, China, African countries, etc.

    Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, is that really who we are?

    I don't believe that anyone thinks about what the punishment is going to be when they commit a crime; the death penalty is not a deterent to crime.

    Does anyone really believe that the punishment stops someone from commiting a crime. Has the punishment ever stopped me or you from doing the wrong thing, just a thought.

    Today, I will be out on my boat with friends, having a great free time. Today, prisoners will still be locked up, never having a chance to see what life if like, maybe never knowing what life is really like.

  • BC LDS
    June 18, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    We don't have the death penalty in Canada. Life in prisonment is only 18 years - they you're eligible for parole. What a joke. If you don't want the death penalty then life in prisonment should be just that, with no priviledges. It's supposed to be a punishment.

  • pm
    June 18, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    As a person whose own brother committed murder (and admitted it after he got out of prison) I feel that death is the only true form of punishment for this sort of crime. My brother played the game while in prison, even cozying up to the warden. When he got out he was a professional "con". That's the only difference I was able to see in him. As far as "rehabilitation" there was none that I could see. I feel that justice would have been served had he been put to death.

  • Visions of compassion
    June 18, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    Some follow the teachings of the brutal Old Testament god, "an eye for any eye" (which also is found in The Koran).
    Others are more comfortable with the New Testament god preaching love, compassion and forgiveness, "Father forgive them - they know not what they do."
    Taking the life of another can never bring back the dead.

  • kkodey
    June 18, 2010 12:09 p.m.

    I have always felt that it should be our personal privilege to have right to death, as well as right to life. If a person desires to die, then the state should act as executioner, irregardless if there is capital crime or not. If I or somebody desires to come forward and die or serve a sentence in behalf of another person, we should be given that privilege and right. I don't see why anybody should have to commit a crime in order for the state to end their lives.

  • amanap
    June 18, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    I say not only kill the murderers but they should be killed in the same manner that they killed. If they torture victims in any way let them be punished in the same way. I think this might deter more effectively than shooting a shell of the perpetrator 25 years later.

  • garrjo
    June 18, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    The Sixth Commandment clearly is a prohibition against murder; not an injunction against capital punishment, the death penalty.

    God says to Noah and his family, "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; and at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whosoever sheddeth a man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.". Capital punishment, the taking of the perpetrators life, is what God demands for the murder of a human being by man or beast.

    Their can be no doubt that the Old Testament teaches capital punishment. It began by demanding it for murder and expanded its application under the Law given to Moses. Therefore, the principle of capital punishment is well established.

    June 18, 2010 11:54 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.

  • couragous
    June 18, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    Justice has been served and fullfilled. There is other news in the making. It's over with Ronnie Lee Gardner. Let's move on people. Now they want to make a movie of his life. Write a book also. He got more attention than Gary Coleman. Move on.....

  • jjr1962
    June 18, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    readAbook. Christ never said "Thou shalt not kill.". That was God and it is more accurately translated to "Thou shalt not murder." There is a difference between killing and murdering.

    Also please read Deuteronomy 19:21. "A life for a life."

    Now Christ did say "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Which indicates that his view was those that sin should not judge/punish others because of their sins.

  • Foodgrade
    June 18, 2010 11:38 a.m.

    Hmmmm. Gun men? No gun women? Also I find the comments about believing in capital punishment, but not wanting to watch it interesting. I'd like to see the actuall killing done by draft like jury selection. I wonder how long the death peanalty would last?

  • batya123
    June 18, 2010 11:33 a.m.

    FOR SHAME! This is terrifying and disgusting. Everytime I read of an execution I feel physically ill. It is beyond appalling and utterly unacceptable, whichever way one looks at it. I am generally moderate and not one for "absolutes," but it is sickening and twisted for anyone to think that state-sanctioned murder is acceptable. Period. I have heard victims' families explain that it didn't give them the relief the expected. (Duh! The death of another isn't going to bring your loved one back.) Several studies have shown that it is more expensive to execute someone than house them for the remained of their life. It is not a deterrent to crime. It is simply barbaric.

  • Rox
    June 18, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    Hey MarkyMark...Yup. You bet.

  • RB1
    June 18, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    For all those refering to the bible, make sure to at least be correct.

    To readAbook "Thou shalt not kill. Christ made it very clear." The command it thou shal not MURDER and it was made perfectly clear by God to Moses, a long time before JC.

    To Not So Fast "His final judgement was always in divine hands". His spiritual judgement of his deeds are in Gods hands. The bible hands down many examples of punishment for crimes between man and man. Capital punishment included.

    And to RenoGardner "Not a Christian virtue. We break God's law--thou shalt not kill--to avenge the victims' families". Again, it is thou shall not MURDER. You are allowed to kill someone under very specific circumstances. It is MURDER when it is sporting.

  • JosephONE
    June 18, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    The People are murderers no matter what the justification. So much revenge here under the guise of 'justice'. Kill this guy while the US still pays former NAZI murderers and Japanese murderers retirement from WWII because they cooperated with the US and turned over the results of inhuman experiments on Live US POW's.
    There is no such thing as Justice when government is involved and the taxpayer is the willing accomplice to murder in each case.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 11:20 a.m.

    Chase | 11:07 a.m.

    It might do you some good to understand Justice & Mercy.

    You advocated Justice and justice being served, but Mercy is also part of our judicial system.

    Cry blood all you want,
    State Executions are State sponsored killings - period.

  • DN Subscriber
    June 18, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    Twenty five years from crime to punishment is absurd!

    Exactly how much have we taxpayers paid to the lawyers working for the late Mr. Gardner? Was their goal to ensure a fair trial and appropriate reviews for their client, or just a lengthy career with a blank check to pursue every frivolous legal gimmick they can think up... with there obscene hourly meters running the whole time?

    Gardner got his just punishmnent, but about 23 years late.

    I send my condolences the the victims and their families.

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

    The Death Penalty is ineffective as a deterrent because it takes so long. One appeal then let justice take it's course.

    I do feel bad for families all around, both victims and condemned, but Gardner got what he deserves. If only all murderers could get their just due then the world would be a better place.

  • Chase
    June 18, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    It's disheartening to see such unintelligent comments about "State Sponsored Murder".

    Is it theft when the state FORCES you to pay for your traffic citation?
    Is it unlawful for law authorities to FORCE you, against your will, into a jail cell?
    Is it theft when when the bank takes your car and house because you didn't pay your bills?

    Mercy can not rob the demands of justice. If mercy prevails, how his justice met?

    When you take something, justice demands you give it back. Since those innocent souls can't be brought back, the next best thing - IF YOU BELIEVE IN JUSTICE - is having your own life taken; YOU MUST GIVE SOMETHING. Giving NOTHING is NOT justice.

    Murder is malicious. Breaking the law is malicious.
    Capital punishment is justice. Consequences and punishments issued by the law are justice. There is a fundamental and distinct difference.

    You may not like it, and if you can't accept it you most likely "believe" you support justice but you don't really. You just waffle your way through life thinking murderers sitting in a cell, wasting away is somehow justice.


  • Jax
    June 18, 2010 11:02 a.m.

    It's unfortunate that there are people in this world so evil that they cannot exist in society without killing and harming others even when confined as a prisoner. Gardner was one of those people. I thank the people that risked their lives every day tending to his needs and working in his vicinity. It's unfortunate that he had to die, but thankfully it was him and not yet another innocent. May his many victims find some closure and peace in his death after he dragged this out for so many years.

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    Random thoughts:
    Justice was served 25 years ago, with a fair trial and a jury verdict. What happened this morning was not justice, it was vengeance.

    Whether you favor or oppose capital punishment, nobody should be happy or celebrating today.

    Maybe everyone who favors capital punishment should have to watch it, to see what the actual consequences of their views are. It might make them think twice.

    Yes, MapleDon, the DN DID write something about Gardner's victims and their families. In fact, over the last few days, there have been multiple articles describing the pain and difficulty Gardner caused to their families. I read every one of them. They are not nobodies. Their lives do matter, as much to those who oppose the death penalty as to anyone else. Trying to paint death penalty opponents as unfeeling or uncaring to victims is unfair and misses the entire point.

    My most sincere sympathies go out today to the families of Gardner's victims, and to Gardner's own family, who are also victims. But my greatest sympathy is for a society that continues to think what happened today is right.

  • mark
    June 18, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    Rox|10:33 a.m. June 18, 2010
    Had I been one of the shooters...
    .."Oops..I thought you said on 'one'."


    So in other words you would have been totally unprofessional.

  • Cats
    June 18, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    Dear Not So fast: The fiancee of ONE victim was opposed to the execution. The family members of the others supported it. They said they felt relieved when it was over and they were at peace.

    Having said that, this is a tragedy. The death penalty is the only way the punishment can fit the crime. In addition, life in prison is truly cruel and unusual punishment. That's why Gary Gilmore wanted to be executed. He had spent his life in prison and knew what it was like. He preferred death.

    When someone commits a murder he/she destroys so many lives. Not only the victim but the victim's family. In addition, he/she destroys his/her own life and family and traumitizes society.

    We should not celebrate these executions. We should do it with great sorrow. But, they must be done. We must send the message that we value human life so highly that, if you take a life, YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR OWN.

  • Just Me
    June 18, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    I support capital punishment, however, 25 years is cruel and unusual.

    We need to fix the justice system to punish these people a bit quicker...He deserved what he got, but if he really changed like he says he was cruel (although correct) to do what they id.

  • So. Cal Reader
    June 18, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    I thought I felt something last night about 12:15am. I thought it was another after shock. I didn't think I'd hear the shots this far away! Sorry, but Gardner got what he deserved. I'm just sorry that so many tens of thousands of tax paying dollars (for you in Utah; not me) was spent over the countless delays. 25 years for someone sentence to death to finally receive his true sentence, at least here in mortality. Way too long!

  • Rox
    June 18, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Had I been one of the shooters...
    .."Oops..I thought you said on 'one'."

  • Not So Fast
    June 18, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    What a blood thirsty bunch I find here. I am sad that anybody thinks this solved anything when even the victim's family thought it was atrocious. His final judgement was always in divine hands. And we are more worried about money than human life? Those who are asking: It IS far more expensive to execute than to let a person live in prison for life. Where is love, forgiveness and mercy? Justice would be restoring a lost life, not making another one. The U.S. stands with third-world countries, and the Middle East in nations that actively execute others. It clearly, obviously, isn't a stopping murders. I am sure we made Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Lebanon, Somalia, Ghana, Iraq and Iran very proud.

  • mraven
    June 18, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    CT98, the trajectory of the bullets was undoubtedly altered to a small degree as it passed through his body. You can't tell exactly where the bullets hit his chest based on the wholes in the chair behind him. And, like you said, some of the variance in bullet placement may have been intentional, although I doubt that.

  • Over the Top
    June 18, 2010 10:00 a.m.

    Crime and Punishment. Too bad it took 25 years to fully serve justice.

  • Rox
    June 18, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    No more appeals, no more wasted food and medical care.
    No more having to deal with all of the associated idiocy.

    No lets march the rest of the death row denizens in there and finish the job.

  • Russ
    June 18, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    If he was repentant then good for him. But, murder is something you cannot undo. Justice has been served and now it is up to the big man upstairs to decide his eternal fate. I just hope that the victims can now move on with their lives. It is ridiculous that it took so long and so many taxpayer dollars to exercise justice.

  • CT98
    June 18, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    As a tax payer it is upsetting that we had to pay for 25 years for this criminal to sit in prison. I can't believe death row inmates have to wait so long to be executed. They should be executed within a year of their death sentence.

    I'm concerned the grouping of shots was so wide. 4 inches apart! At least one of the shooters pulled to the right when he shot. That bullet hole on the far right missed the bullseye by at least 3 inches. After all the practice the shooters experienced, I'm surprised by the variance. Maybe that was by design though.

  • MapleDon
    June 18, 2010 9:37 a.m.

    Hmmm. Did the Des News write anything in regards to Gardner's victims and their last words?

    I didn't think so.

    The victims are nobodies. Their lives don't matter. The suffering of their families and friends is of no importance. At least not to some of you.

  • readAbook
    June 18, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    7 times 70, Love thy enemy, do good to them that deceitfully use you. Thou shalt not kill. Christ made it very clear.

    RLG wasn't an innocent man, but murder by state is still murder and makes "justice" no better then crime. Life in prison is punishment enough and can even turn a murder into a human being - See "Shakespeare Behind Bars". Of course that requires compassion on the part of people. Something I think is lacking in Utah today.

  • Peace
    June 18, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    This tiny part of the world continues to grow colder and colder with each passing day.

  • washcomom
    June 18, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    That was an interesting write-up. I lived in Utah at the time of his last crime, and I remember the panic that had set in throughout the Salt Lake and surrounding areas. With time, people forget the horrible impact that it had when it initially happened.

    He's gone. His "legacy" will be brought to light now and again, but it is better that an unjust man to die rather than let him kill again and have no mercy, or to manipulate the system with his cohort - his lawyer.

  • thelogicalone
    June 18, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    1) I hope the next one doesn't take 25 years.
    2) It appears a space has opened up for Curtis Algier.

  • Screwdriver
    June 18, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    Gardner was repentant but he said his family shoudn't mourn his loss but celebrate his freedom.

    So you punishment hounds realy think you got the best of him this way? My worst nightmare would be 30 more years in prison.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    June 18, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    Was he a mormon?. Gardner had met with an LDS bishop, a person he had known for several years and whom he trusted. Gardner sat on a bunk in the observation cell and spoke to the bishop through a small port used for handcuffing inmates.

  • Pagan
    June 18, 2010 8:17 a.m.

    ' "But it wasn't bad whatsoever. You didn't see hardly any blood. He was dressed all in black. I just feel like justice has finally been served. He deserved it."' - Article.

    Found guilty, admitting the guilt, and more than 2 decades since the death of his victims...

    I am simply glad this chapter is over.

  • lwr
    June 18, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    I'm not going to comment on the moral issue of whether executions should be done or not because that tends to be a personal decision on the part of each individual.

    I do, however, question why we let the process of appeals take 25 years and countless hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' money to get to this point. I have heard the figure of $20,000 to $25,000 a year to keep one inmate in prison. I really don't care if they are executed or locked away for the rest of their lives. I would like to know if it is cheaper for us taxpayers to pay for their incarceration for the rest of their life or to pay for their endless appeals to state and federal courts for twenty plus years.

  • FlyingUte
    June 18, 2010 7:59 a.m.

    Life in prison as an alternative would be fine with me as long as it required 8 hrs. a day of hard labor and some sort of community service rendered within the confines of the prison. No more of the glorified "big house" You do the crime it's going to cost you BIG! If the death penalty is to survive it can't take 25 yrs to get on with it. Limit the appeals. Have a panel of representatives pro bona provide the best 3 appeals. If you fail on those 3 then it's time to pay the consequence of your actions. Make prison as undesirable as possible and quit making the honest hard working taxpayer another victim.

  • Mike in Sandy
    June 18, 2010 7:49 a.m.


  • Laser
    June 18, 2010 7:41 a.m.

    Condolences to the victims family, condolences to the Gardner family.

  • Wayne Rout
    June 18, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    The world is a better place. Too bad it took so long.

  • wonderwhy
    June 18, 2010 7:14 a.m.

    Thank you for publishing the story. It removed some of the mystery of the execution seeing the pictures of the chair and room where it took place.

  • KevinG
    June 18, 2010 6:17 a.m.

    I'm all for capital punishment in cases like this,but I'd never want to watch it. Just reading about it makes me fel queezy. Why are members of the media allowed in to watch? Why do they even want to? Very strange. Atleast justice was finally served.

  • johnthomas1938
    June 18, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    Gardner is dead and that's OK with me - he died as the law said he should. However, I don't feel any better because of his execution, and I don't sense society is any better either. There is a vacuous emotion emanating after executions. Perhaps it's time to reconsider the morality of societal mandated killing.