Prison officials deny Gardner's request to be on 'Larry King Live'

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Prison officials denied death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner's chance to be on national television less than 48 hours before his scheduled execution.

Gardner requested to do an interview Wednesday night on CNN's "Larry King Live," but prison officials denied it, in part, for security reasons.

"Many of his crimes have occurred while he was in custody, and so we need to use extra caution to make sure that nothing goes awry in this case," explained Tom Patterson, executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections.

Weeks ago, the Utah Department of Corrections said Gardner would not be doing any interviews.

They allowed Gardner to talk to the Deseret News after an attorney filed a lawsuit saying prohibiting him from doing so would violate his First Amendment rights.

Gardner then changed his mind and requested to talk to Larry King.

Gardner is set to die by firing squad just after 12 a.m. Thursday.

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