Utah Attorney General Under Fire for Tweeting about Execution

Utah’s governor is facing controversy for using Twitter to make comments about the pending execution of a prisoner. Ronnie Lee Gardner was killed by a firing squad — his preferred choice versus the now-common practice of death by lethal injection. However, the center of controversy after Gardner’s death is not the ethics of the death penalty but comments made on Twitter by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

During the day, Shurtleff posted several updates about the plans for Gardner’s execution, including that he “gave the go ahead to (sic) Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”

Online reaction to Shurtleff’s Twitter postings has been swift, with opinions ranging that the postings were macabre to downright offensive. One Twitter user posted that Shurtleff’s posts “will probably go down in history as the dumbest most disgusting use of Twitter ever.”

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