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Utah executed a convicted murderer by firing squad on Friday. Ronnie Lee Gardner chose the method of execution months ago -- as permitted by Utah law -- which subsequently brought his case to the forefront of the capital punishment debate in the U.S.

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In a throwback to Utah's Wild West past, convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner has requested, as per state law, to be executed by firing squad. The request sets the stage for what almost certainly will be a contested debate on capital punishment. Gardner would be only the third person to be killed by the method in the U.S. since 1976.

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