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Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. local time after being shot in the chest by a five-man firing squad at the Utah State Prison in Draper, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

Gardner was condemned to die for the 1985 courthouse shooting of lawyer Michael Burdell during an escape attempt. Gardner had been in court to face a charge of murdering a bartender.

He chose the firing squad as his means of execution before it was banned by the state and replaced by lethal injection. His last hope for a reprieve was dashed when the U.S. Supreme Court denied his 11th-hour appeal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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