Governor Herbert Denies Request to Stay Execution

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has declined a request to temporarily stay the anticipated execution of inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner.

“Upon careful review, there is nothing in the materials provided this morning that has not already been considered and decided by the Board of Pardons and Parole or numerous courts,” Governor Herbert wrote in a letter to Mr. Gardner’s attorneys. “Mr. Gardner has had a full and fair opportunity to have his case considered by numerous tribunals.”
The Governor’s decision is in response to a letter delivered to the Office of the Governor shortly after 10 a.m. by Mr. Gardner’s legal counsel. In it, the attorneys ask Governor Herbert to “issue a respite or reprieve pursuant to your executive power under the Utah Constitution, Article VII, Section 12.3(a), to temporarily stay his execution currently scheduled for June 18, 2010, at 12:01 a.m.”

The Utah Constitution does not grant the Governor the authority to issue a pardon or to commute Mr. Gardner’s sentence.