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Ronnie Lee Gardner Firing Squad Execution Condemned By Attorneys; Utah Not Backing Down

05/ 4/10 09:26 PM ET   AP

Ronnie Lee Gardner

SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for condemned Utah inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner have asked the state's Board of Pardons and Parole to consider commuting his death sentence to life in prison.

The 49-year-old Gardner is set to be executed by firing squad on June 18. He is seeking a stay pending an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.

Board spokesman Jim Hatch says in a statement that a decision about a hearing will come after the board hears a response from the Utah attorney general's office.

Assistant Attorney General Tom Brunker says the state will oppose a commutation hearing.

Gardner's attorney, Andrew Parnes, did not return messages left for him late Tuesday.

Gardner was sentenced to death in 1985 for the courthouse slaying of attorney Michael Burdell during a failed escape attempt.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |