DRAPER, Utah — A state parole board voted unanimously yesterday to deny clemency to a condemned Utah man scheduled to be executed by firing squad.
Curt Garner, chairman of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, said the board determined that the jury’s verdict imposing a death sentence was not inappropriate and that no sufficient reason exists to grant clemency or to commute convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner’s death sentence.
“Gardner makes no claim of innocence and admits that he is guilty of each of the crimes of which he has been convicted,’’ Garner said.
Gardner was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die in 1985 for the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell earlier that year. The shooting came during a botched escape attempt. He was in court that day to face murder charges for the 1984 shooting death of bartender Melvyn Otterstrom.
Gardner, 49, still has an appeal pending before the Utah Supreme Court, and his attorney has said he may still appeal to the US Supreme Court. Gardner’s execution is set for Friday.