The Conclusion of a 26-Year-Old Murder Story . . . in 140 Characters or Less
It was the first time in 14 years that a person in Utah was executed by firing squad, but it might have been the first time ever that a state attorney general “tweeted” the world about giving the order.
“I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution,” read a Twitter feed fired off by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. “May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”
Kind of a weird thing to do, in our opinion. Perhaps even gross; there’s something about every tweet that’s self-promotional and, well, silly. Wouldn’t a communiqué to the living victims—family, friends, loved ones of Gardner’s victims—suffice? An occasion like this calls for at least a little restraint.
But in case his fans might forget, Shurtleff later advertised the fact that he was going to be one TV and everything. “We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I’m told Gardner is dead. Watch it at [attorney general office’s website],” he tweeted.
Don’t get us wrong. If a state is going to execute people, Ronnie Lee Gardner was a prime candidate. Whether you support or oppose the death penalty, the fact that Gardner won’t ever commit a crime again is good for all of us.
But some decorum on the part of Shurtleff would have been nice. We expect people representing the law-enforcement system to try to be above it all. What’s next? Tweeting in the actual execution order? Obviously.
Post Categories: Crime & Justice
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