Ronnie Lee Gardner has a date with five men and their .30-30 lever-action rifles tonight at 2AM at the Utah State Prison in Draper.
Ronnie Lee Gardner doesn’t want to die, and has launched some last-minute appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While I can understand Ronnie Lee Gardner’s motivation–dying is a most un-fun affair, from all I know about it, and people generally want as little to do with it as possible–my sympathy is tempered by the following factors:
- Ronnie shot and killed two people in the 1980s. One was a bartender named Melvyn Otterstrom, and the other was an attorney named Michael Burdell.
- Neither of those men wanted to die, either.
- Neither Mr. Burdell nor Mr. Otterstrom got to launch any appeals before being shot by Ronnie Gardner.
- Neither Mr. Burdell nor Mr. Otterstrom got to spend 25 years getting three squares a day and family visits before Ronnie Gardner pulled the trigger on them.
I don’t want to make it sound like I’m a big cheerleader for the death penalty. I don’t trust the state to fairly and impartially issue parking tickets, much less mete out that sort of punishment. However, some people just don’t get me all that worked up at the prospect of their forced permanent excision from society, much like I don’t get upset about a homicidal pitbull getting put to sleep. Ronnie Gardner forfeited his rights and privileges as a member of society the moment he killed another for fun or profit, and tonight at 2AM, the bill comes due.