A Convicted Murderer’s Execution … Ordered by Twitter

Utah’s attorney general tweets to update constituents a midnight death by firing squad

Early Friday morning, the state of Utah executed Ronnie Lee Gardner, a convicted killer, by firing squad.

Via the New York Times: “A five-member firing squad at the Utah State Prison took aim and fired .30-caliber bullets at a target pinned on the chest of Ronnie Lee Gardner, a convicted murderer, just after midnight on Friday. He was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m.”

There was plenty of controversy leading up to the execution – Utah is the only state that still uses firing squads.

But I’d venture to guess it’s also the only state whose attorney general gives his constituents minute-by-minute iPhone updates on executions … via Twitter.

Here are Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff’s tweets on the subject:

>> A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice

I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.

We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I’m told Gardner is dead. Watch it at www.attorneygeneral.Utah.gov/live.html 

I guess it’s a stark reminder that Twitter has come a long way from “I’m eating Grape Nuts LOL.”

Grisly, firing squad executions can be tweeted just as effectively.