Editor's Note: Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by a Utah firing squad just after midnight on Friday, June 18.
Like sands through the hourglass, the remaining moments of Ronnie Lee Gardner's life slowly drip away. Shortly after midnight tonight, Gardner will be blindfolded, strapped to a chair and will have a target placed on his chest. Five marksmen will fire from a distance of 25 feet, with one having an "ineffective round."
Just hours from his imminent execution, Gardner and his attorneys have requested that Utah Governor Gary Herbert issue a temporary stay of execution. The three page request is currently under review. Gardner has also filed a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and has a petition before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Gardner ate his last meal on Tuesday night -- steak, lobster, 7-Up, apple pie and vanilla ice cream. He will be shot as punishment for the 1985 fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during a botched escape attempt. He was also convicted in the 1984 killing of Melvyn Otterstrom. The firing squad execution might sound like a made for TV movie, but it is quite real.