Convicted Utah Killer to Face Firing Squad

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The state of Utah is preparing to execute a convicted killer by firing squad.

Last Friday, Judge Robin Reese gave 49-year-old Ronnie Lee Gardner the choice of being killed by lethal injection or shot by a five-man team of executioners.

"I would like the firing squad please," Gardner said.

Gardner was sentenced to death for killing an attorney during a failed escape attempt.

Of the 35 states that use the death penalty, Utah is the only one that still uses the military style method of justice as an execution method.

Defense attorney Andrew Parnes said he plans to pursue a stay of execution and appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Only two men have been executed by firing squad in Utah since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. There are nine other inmates on Utah's death row, all men.

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