US man to be executed by firing squad

Ronnie Lee Gardner chose firing squad over lethal injection when he is put to death on June 18, a spokeswoman for the state court in Salt Lake City confirmed. Utah is the only state that still performs firing squad executions. Gardner was convicted of murdering an attorney while trying to escape from a courthouse more than 25 years ago.

At the time of the crime, those condemned to die were allowed to choose their method of execution. Utah changed the law in 2004 to make lethal injection the only method, but it does not apply to inmates who were convicted before the law was enacted. State officials changed the law because of the embarrassing attention brought on by firing squad executions.

The last time a man was executed by firing squad in Utah was 1996 and involved a man convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. A hood was placed over John Albert Taylor's head and he was strapped into a chair. Five shooters, one using a gun with a blank, aimed at a cloth taped over Taylor's heart and opened fire.

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