US convict to face firing squad

Death row inmate tells judge he wants to die by controversial execution method.

    Antiquated method

    Critics say that the method is antiquated and could encourage gun crime.

    "The firing squad is archaic, it's violent, and it simply expands on the violence that we already experience from guns as a society," said Bishop John C. Wester, of Utah's Catholic Diocese.

    Gardner's lawyer said that his client was coming to terms with the sentence. "I don't think it was a shock or a surprise, and he's coming to grips with that," Andrew Parnes told the Associated Press news agency.

    He said he would launch last-ditch appeals, but admitted that Gardner's death looked "closer than ever before". 

    Utah is the only US state to use the firing squad, where the prisoner is shot by five marksmen, as a method of execution, although it is theoretically possible for Oklahoma to employ it if other methods are unavailable.

    Until 2004, death row inmates in Utah were able to choose the method by which they were killed, but the state changed the law to make lethal injection the default method after facing criticism for a previous firing squad execution.

    Because Gardner was sentenced to death before the change in the rules, he was still allowed to make the choice.

    Gardner was convicted for killing a lawyer during an audacious escape attempt from a Utah courtroom in 1985. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.