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Judge denies inmate's petition for execution stay

Judge denies inmate's petition for execution stay

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah judge has denied a stay of execution for an inmate set to die by firing squad in June.

Attorneys for Ronnie Lee Gardner sought the stay May 4 after filing a petition for a vacated death sentence and a new sentencing.

Attorney Andrew Parnes said last week that state law required 3rd District Judge Robin Reese to issue a temporary stay when the petition was filed.

Reese, who dismissed the petition to vacate the sentence on Friday, issued a ruling Tuesday denying a stay for Gardner. Reese says a stay would only have been necessary if there had been insufficient time to address the petition before Gardner's scheduled execution date June 18.

Gardner was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1985 for the fatal courthouse shooting of an attorney that same year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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