No. We’re not kidding.

An appellate court in Denver has just denied a stay of execution for a Utah inmate who is slated to die by firing squad just hours from now, at one minute after midnight.

Barring the success of any final appeals, including one to the U.S. Supreme Court Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped down in a chair while a target is placed over his heart. He will then die in a hail of gunfire.

And some argue California’s death by injection is inhumane. This sounds like something out of the Wild West.

It’s important to note that this was the inmate’s choice. In Utah, lethal injection is the preferred method, but condemned inmates are still allowed to request death by firing squad, which Gardner did.

Nevertheless, how is this still a legal option? As for those five anonymous marksmen, all armed with .30-caliber rifles, what will they be thinking?

– Paul Gullixson