Ronnie Lee Gardner - Utah - 6/18/10

Started by Jeff1857, June 21, 2009, 04:53:42 AM

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Jeff1857

June 21, 2009, 04:53:42 AM Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 07:15:18 PM by Jeff1857
Federal Court Rejects Utah Death Row Inmate Appeal


A federal court has rejected an appeal from Utah death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner.

In a decision released Friday, the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2007 ruling by a U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell that rejected numerous claims, including that Gardner had ineffective attorneys during both his trial and appeal.

Assistant Utah Attorney General Thomas Brunker said he was pleased with the ruling.

Gardner's Ketchum, Idaho-based attorney Andrews Parnes said they are disappointed with the court's decision and plans to appeal. Court rules give Parnes 14 days to file an appeal.

Parnes said he plans to ask for a rehearing of the case by the original 3-judge panel that heard arguments in February and a hearing before a the court's full panel of 12 active judges.

Gardner, 48, was sentenced to death for the Salt Lake City courthouse killing of attorney Michael Burdell in 1985 when Gardner was in court for a hearing on charges in the 1984 robbery and fatal shooting of another man.

Authorities say Gardner's girlfriend smuggled a loaded gun into the courthouse, and he opened fire with it in a failed escape attempt.

Gardner has already exhausted the appeals process in Utah's state court system, Parnes said.

Gardner is one of 10 men on Utah's death row.

6 men have been executed, either by lethal injection or firing squad since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1972. The last person executed in Utah was Joseph Mitchell Parsons, who died by lethal injection on Oct. 15, 1999.

(source: Associated Press)
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Appeals are done. Utah joins the party. Could it be firing squad?

Mastodon



Appeals are done. Utah joins the party. Could it be firing squad?


So is it a guarantee that a date will be set? 

BTW, I would personally choose firing squad over LI.  :o


vikkiw47

Utah has not done anything since 1999. 10yrs now. I do not see them getting any closer.
Justice is not about bringing back the dead. It is not about revenge either. Justice is about enforcing consequences for one's own actions to endorse personal responsibility. We cannot expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions if these consequences are not enforced in full.

Rick4404




Appeals are done. Utah joins the party. Could it be firing squad?


So is it a guarantee that a date will be set? 

BTW, I would personally choose firing squad over LI.  :o

At this point, the attorney general of Utah could petition the trial court which handled Gardner's trial for an execution date. Under Utah law, once the attorney general files his petiton, the court if it does decide to issue an execution warrant, would have to set the date of said execution to occur no less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date that the court makes its ruling.

I anticipate a petition on Gardner's attorneys part for certiorari from the U.S. Supremme Court.

Jeff1857

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal court has rejected an appeal
from Utah death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner.

In a decision released Friday, the Denver-based 10th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2007 ruling by a U.S. District
Judge Tena Campbell that rejected numerous claims, including that
Gardner had ineffective attorneys during both his trial and appeal.

Assistant Utah Attorney General Thomas Brunker said he was
pleased with the ruling.

Gardner's Ketchum, Idaho-based attorney Andrews Parnes said they
are disappointed with the court's decision and plans to appeal.

Court rules give Parnes 14 days to file an appeal.

Parnes said he plans to ask for a rehearing of the case by the
original three-judge panel that heard arguments in February and a
hearing before a the court's full panel of 12 active judges.

Gardner, 48, was sentenced to death for the Salt Lake City
courthouse killing of attorney Michael Burdell in 1985 when Gardner
was in court for a hearing on charges in the 1984 robbery and fatal
shooting of another man.

Authorities say Gardner's girlfriend smuggled a loaded gun into
the courthouse, and he opened fire with it in a failed escape
attempt.

Gardner has already exhausted the appeals process in Utah's
state court system, Parnes said.
     
Gardner is one of 10 men on Utah's death row.
     
Six men have been executed, either by lethal injection or firing
squad since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in
1972. The last person executed in Utah was Joseph Mitchell Parsons,
who died by lethal injection on Oct. 15, 1999.
     
http://www.abc4.com/content/news/state/story/Federal-court-rejects-Utah-death-row-inmate-appeal/rePaCfgZKky56CSRIwxUmQ.cspx?rss=1451

Jeff1857

#6
March 11, 2010, 10:28:30 PM Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 10:43:48 PM by Jeff1857
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah is one step closer to its first death row execution in 11 years.

An application for a death warrant has been filed by the Utah Attorney General's Office asking a state judge to order the execution of death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner.

The AG's office asked for the warrant as soon as it confirmed that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Gardner's most recent petition, said assistant attorney general Tom Brunker.

Gardner, 48, was sentenced to die for shooting and killing attorney Michael Burdell and severely wounding Salt Lake County sheriff's bailiff George Kirk while trying to escape the former Salt Lake County courthouse in 1985.

Authorities said Gardner got the gun from his girlfriend, who was able to smuggle it into the poorly-secured, old courthouse. Gardner was in court that day facing charges stemming from a 1984 robbery and shooting death of Melvyn John Otterstrom.

A jury convicted Gardner of capital murder in the slaying of Burdell and sentenced him to die in 1985. He was also sentenced to a term of five years to life for killing Otterstrom.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700015787/Death-warrant-requested-for-killer-Ronnie-Lee-Gardner.html?s_cid=rss-32

v1976ra

Slow moving there in Utah.

I read somewhere that the Utah Attorney General's Office had sought an execution date for Troy Kell over a year ago.  Don't know if that's 100% true, as that info came from a message board.  In any case, I don't see the point in seeking the death sentence if they don't have the cajones to actually carry it out.  ::)

Anne

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700017453/Death-warrant-sought-for-killer.html

Death warrant sought for killer
Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 10:09 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY -- A hearing date has been set on the requested execution warrant for longtime death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner, signaling a move toward the state's first execution in 10 years.

A Wednesday court filing shows that the hearing will take place April 12 before 3rd District Judge Robin Reese. The hearing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear Gardner's latest appeal petition, prompting the Utah Attorney General's Office to file an application for the warrant last week.

Gardner, 49, was sentenced to die for shooting and killing attorney Michael Burdell and severely wounding Salt Lake County sheriff's bailiff George "Nick" Kirk while trying to escape the old Salt Lake County courthouse in 1985.

Authorities said Gardner used a gun that was smuggled into the courthouse by his girlfriend. Gardner was in court that day facing charges stemming from a 1984 robbery and shooting death of Melvyn John Otterstrom.

A jury convicted Gardner of capital murder in the slaying of Burdell and sentenced him to die in 1985. Gardner made numerous attempts to appeal the conviction since 1989. Once the U.S. Supreme Court denied Gardner's third petition, the AG's office filed the application, stating that Gardner had "exhausted his judicial process."






Anne


heidi salazar

Ronnie Lee Gardner can choose firing squad or lethal injection

SALT LAKE CITY -- As one of five of Utah's 10 death row inmates who originally opted for death by firing squad, Ronnie Lee Gardner will choose how he will die when he goes before a district judge April 12.

Though a law passed by the 2004 Utah Legislature eliminated death by firing squad, those who had requested such a death at the time of their sentencing, including Gardner, are still allowed the option.

Tom Brunker, head of the attorney general's capital punishment appeal section, said the death warrant they've drafted for Gardner's execution asks for lethal injection, because that was what Gardner had requested at his two previous execution hearings. But he said the attorney general's office understands that Gardner may yet be considering death by firing squad.

"If (Gardner) elects (firing squad) ... that should not slow things down," Brunker said. "The judge should be able to write that in at the hearing."

Gardner's attorney, Andrew Parnes, said Thursday that Gardner continues to mull the decision.

"The initial judgment entered was firing squad, but there are two other warrants issued, and they were both lethal injection," Parnes said. "It's his decision, and he'll make it in court."

Gardner told a 3rd District judge at a hearing in 1990 that he preferred to die by lethal injection, but he told the Deseret News in 1996 that he would go so far as to sue for his right to die by firing squad.

"I'm going to fight it," he said at the time. "I don't know how yet, but I will."

He went on to say that he had asked for lethal injection in 1990 for the sake of his children, who he said "didn't understand" the firing squad decision, but it was the option he always favored.

"I guess it's my Mormon heritage," Gardner said in 1996. "I like the firing squad. It's so much easier ... and there's no mistakes."

Four other death row inmates will eventually have the option to die by firing squad or by lethal injection, as they were grandfathered into the 2004 law. These are Ron Lafferty, Taberon Dave Honie, Troy Kell and Ralph Menzies, all of whom have appeals pending.

Inmates Doug Lovell, Floyd Eugene Maestas, Douglas Stewart Carter, Von Lester Taylor and Michael Anthony Archuleta, if executed, will die by lethal injection, either because they didn't ask to die by firing squad or weren't grandfathered under the new law.

Gardner's execution, if carried out, will be the first in Utah since Joseph Mitchell Parsons died by lethal injection in 1999. Utah has executed six men since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700017610/Ronnie-Lee-Gardner-can-choose-firing-squad-or-lethal-injection.html?s_cid=rss-30

Jeff1857

The hearing for an execution request of Ronnie Lee Gardner has been set for April 12 after a quarter century of appealing his death sentence.

The hearing typically lasts less than an hour. Judge Robin Reese must make sure Gardner has filed no more petitions, then, by statute, the judge is required to sign the warrant. The execution by lethal injection must then take place between 30 and 60 days after the warrant is signed.

Gardner has waived his right to appear at the hearing and instead will participate via telephone, said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Brunker.

Gardner tried to escape on April 2, 1985, from the now-demolished Salt Lake City courthouse at 250 E. 400 South. He had been brought there for a hearing on charges in the 1984 robbery and fatal shooting of Melvyn John Otterstrom at a Salt Lake City bar.

After someone slipped him a gun, Gardner wounded bailiff Nick Kirk and fatally shot attorney Michael Burdell before being shot in the shoulder and captured on the courthouse lawn. He was sentenced to death for killing Burdell and also received five years to life in prison for killing Otterstrom, a husband and father who was a controller for the Utah Paper Box Co. by day and a part-time bartender in the evening.

Gardner, now 49, still can ask the Utah Board of Pardons to commute his sentence to life in prison. He has up to seven days after the warrant is signed to petition the board, and it must be completed before the set execution date, Brunker said.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14805749

Jeff1857

Death row inmate gets to choose how he dies


Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner will get to choose how he dies. Lawyers for the state went to court on Monday to fight it but decided not to contest it. A judge in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court is slated to sign an execution warrant on April 12, setting a date for Gardner's death in June

. Gardner's attorneys went to court to get documents that they argued would help him make a choice about whether to die by firing squad or by lethal injection. The documents include information on the training and expertise of the executioners, but not their identities. Gardner's attorney, Andrew Parnes, declined to comment outside of court. The Utah Attorney General's Office said it does not believe that Gardner could choose -- but decided that it would not fight it.

"Legally, our position is he does not have a right at this point," assistant Utah Attorney General Thomas Brunker told Fox 13. "But practically speaking, we're not going to contest if he makes a choice."

The Utah State Legislature did away with the firing squad as a death penalty option several years ago. But four of Utah's death row inmates are "grandfathered in."

"If Mr. Gardner would like to be executed in that format and the court orders that, then we will carry that out," said Tom Patterson, the executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections.

Gardner is accused of killing attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt at the Salt Lake Metro Hall of Justice back in 1985. More than 25 years later, Gardner's exhausted all of his appeals, and all that's left is a death warrant. After the judge signs the warrant, Gardner could seek a commutation of his death sentence within seven days. Under Utah's constitution, the governor doesn't have the authority to halt his execution -- that's left up to the parole board.

State corrections officials say death by firing squad could create a circus.

"It is novel for Utah," Patterson said. "We are the only state that has firing squad at this point, and so yeah, it does become a bit of a novelty, nationwide and even worldwide."

(source: KTSU News)


ScoopD (aka: Pam)

Utah death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner is slated to have his execution date set on Monday, but he will first decide if he prefers to die by lethal injection or firing squad.

To help his decision, the Utah Department of Corrections has agreed to release information on the protocols of each execution method to Gardner's lawyer, Andrew Parnes. Parnes will then be permitted to verbally convey the information to his client.

"The paperwork has been turned over," Parnes told the ABC News Law & Justice Unit. Utah state statute permits that if a death sentence was issues before 2004, inmates have a choice of execution method.

source: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/utah-death-row-inmate-choose-death-firing-squad/story?id=10303247
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.

Nikolai

I worry Gardner will select firing squad in hopes that the method will somehow get him a stay. It may be judged inhumane and law will have to be changed, and until then Gardner will get more time to enjoy a life he doesnt deserve. Im not saying it will happen, but I could easily seeing this happen. His lawyers may be thinking that way as well, who knows. Its hard to imagine a death by firing squad in these times where a murderer can get a stay because of a needle poke.

Rick4404


I worry Gardner will select firing squad in hopes that the method will somehow get him a stay. It may be judged inhumane and law will have to be changed, and until then Gardner will get more time to enjoy a life he doesnt deserve. Im not saying it will happen, but I could easily seeing this happen. His lawyers may be thinking that way as well, who knows. Its hard to imagine a death by firing squad in these times where a murderer can get a stay because of a needle poke.

I doubt if it will be that simple. When Utah's death penalty law was changed to eliminate the firing squad as a means of carrying out an execution in 2004; inmates that had been sentenced to death prior to that would be allowed to choose between lethal injection and dying in front of a volley of bullets. Gardner will not be treated any differently, and I think the courts would likely have a hard time finding that Gardner's rights have somehow been violated here. Gardner will be asked to choose which method he prefers and that will be that.

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