Gardner wants pardon so he can help troubled youth

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner will try again Thursday to stop his upcoming execution.

His latest argument: let him live so he can help troubled youth.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Gardner will tell the court he wants to start an organic farm in Box Elder County for youth who need guidance.

An attorney helping Gardner and his family finance the farm tells the paper Gardner wants to help kids avoid turning out like him.

Gardner is scheduled to die by firing squad June 18.

The 49-year-old was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die in 1985 for the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell that same year.

The Utah Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling that Gardner cannot challenge the signing of the warrant. The five-member court agreed with prosecutors that a sentence can be appealed but not an order to carry out that sentence.

The Utah parole board will hold a hearing on whether to commute Gardner's sentence next week.


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