Wax Bullet

#1
The US state of Utah has put convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner to death by firing squad, the first such execution in 14 years.

Gardner, who had spent 25 years on death row, died soon after midnight local time (0600 GMT) on Friday, hours after a final appeal was rejected.

Gardner, 49, chose the firing squad as his method of execution before it was banned by Utah in 2004.

He was only the third man put to death in that way in the US since 1976.

He was convicted in 1985 of fatally shooting a lawyer during an attempt to escape from a court where he was facing another murder charge dating from 1984.


A federal appeals court in Denver denied Gardner's request for a stay of execution on Thursday.

Just hours before his scheduled execution, the US Supreme Court - the highest court in the nation - rejected Gardner's final appeal against that decision.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert also rejected a request for a temporary stay on Thursday, saying Gardner's legal team had presented no material that had not already been considered by the courts.

"Mr Gardner has had a full and fair opportunity to have his case considered by numerous tribunals," he said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Gardner ate his final meal of steak, lobster, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-Up, before beginning a 48-hour fast.

Gardner's lawyers said he had undertaken his fast for "spiritual reasons", the Salt Lake City Tribune newspaper reported.

'Wild West'
The execution was carried out by a five-man firing squad.

Four of their rifles would have been loaded with live bullets but a fifth carried a blank, so that none of the men knew with certainty that he had shot a lethal round.

Gardner would have been hooded and strapped to a black metal chair, with a target pinned to his chest. He would have been asked for his last words before the execution.

Critics say the method is a relic from the state's Wild West past and should be abolished.

Death row convicts in Utah were for decades allowed to choose their method of execution.

State legislators removed that choice in 2004 and made lethal injection the standard method - but inmates sentenced before then can still opt for firing squad.
 
#2
okay
 
#3
But unnamed officers who took part in the last execution by firing squad this week described their experiences to the Salt Lake Tribune.

One described it as an "assignment, nothing more than getting an order to do something like kicking in a door to serve a warrant".

Another likened John Albert Taylor's execution to "returning a defective product to the manufacturer". And one said he "had issues about shooting a guy strapped in a seat, helpless. But the state had ordered us to do this and we had a job to do. I don't regret doing it, but I would never do it again."
It's a good job the bit in bold wasn't said in German ...
 
A

armadillo

Guest
#5
Cos the end of the blank round was dipped in wax to stop the loose proprellant from leaking. Normally its a mix of shellac and wax.
 
#7
What I see is: One less walking, breathing, piece of scum, not breathing my oxygen and eating my food. Too bad it took 25 yrs to whack him.
 
#8
Seems he got what was comming to him


Gary DeLand, executive director of Utah's corrections agency from 1985 to 1992, knew Gardner during the early years of his imprisonment. He says he was not surprised by this request.

"He was a particularly violent man. He was kept away from other inmates. He was the kind of person who would harm others for the sport of it, and enjoyed causing trouble.

"We don't know why Gardner chose this method but one prisoner who had chosen the firing squad basically said if he was going to die, he wanted someone to have to clean up the mess."
 
#10
Good riddance... from the noises made when he first selected the method of his execution it was a strategic decision as his lawyer expected the carrying out to be severely delayed by ongoing legal action against the use of a firing squad.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
[nerd]I think it actually must have fired a wax slug. If it was simply a wax-coated blank, the firer would note the absence of recoil.[/nerd]

Personally, I'd know whether I'd delivered the lethal bullet or not because unlike the other guys, when I fired, the head cloth would get a hole in it. :twisted:
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#12
Who was doing the shooting. Plod or the Prison Service? I can see the point that its "Cruel & unusual" with Plod doing the shooting. With only one bullet the guy might not be guaranteed to join the choir invisible (or in this case someplace warmer) straight away. Why not have a GAU-17/A slaved to 3 buttons and only one of them is connected to the electric drive. Might need a new chair for the next bloke though.
 
#13
Travelgall said:
Who was doing the shooting. Plod or the Prison Service? I can see the point that its "Cruel & unusual" with Plod doing the shooting. With only one bullet the guy might not be guaranteed to join the choir invisible (or in this case someplace warmer) straight away. Why not have a GAU-17/A slaved to 3 buttons and only one of them is connected to the electric drive. Might need a new chair for the next bloke though
I'd pity the poor b@stard who has to clean that up... maybe the next guy in the chair! :twisted:
 
A

armadillo

Guest
#14
they could have spent the afternoon trying out different body armour on him, why waste an opportunity
 
#16
I'm opposed to the death penalty but it's their laws, and at the end of the day, good riddance to what appears to be a particularly nasty individual.
 
A

armadillo

Guest
#17
I am opposed to the death penalty, but speaking to a sheriff whilst on Hols in the US, he explained that as long as you dont commit the crime you should not really worry about it. he never asked me about the blood stained axe I was carrying and what was in my wal mart carrier bag.....
 

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