Thursday, May 6, 2010

Victim's Family Opposes Utah Execution

Yesterday's ABC News has this story, "Victim's Family Asks to Block Execution of Condemned Killer Ronnie Gardner":

A convicted murderer ordered executed by firing squad has found unusual allies in his effort to be spared -- the family of the man he killed.

Ronnie Lee Gardner is to be executed by a firing squad for the 1985 murder of attorney Michael Burdell. His date with death is set for June 18.

Gardner, 49, has asked the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for a commutation hearing and among the witnesses will be Burdell's father, former girlfriend and a friend.

"Michael didn't believe in capital punishment, he didn't believe in eye for an eye, a life for a life," Donna Nu, Burdell's girlfriend at the time of his murder, told ABC News. "Michael would have done the same for me had the situation been reversed."

"Further, Michael would not want to be the reason that Ronnie Lee is executed," she said.

Nu noted that Burdell, who was a pacifist, served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam but refused to carry a gun.

Gardner's attorney, Andrew Parnes, said, "Nu and Ron Temu, a close friend of Burdell, are both listed as witnesses as far as commutation. They both believe that Burdell wouldn't want the death penalty for Gardner. And that isn't what they want either."

Parnes has also submitted a video of Burdell's father stating that his son would not have wanted the death penalty.

Read the rest.

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