Execution Via Twitter

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More politicians are realizing they can reach their constituencies via Twitter. But tweeting the decision to move forward with an execution may be a new benchmark low.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff sent out the following 134-character message to his followers regarding convicted murder Ronnie Lee Gardner’s appeal to stay his execution by firing squad:

“I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”

Shurtleff later tweeted that his press conference would be streamed live on the Internet.

Gardner—who was convicted of capital murder in 1985 when he fatally shot an attorney during an escape attempt during his trial for 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of a bartender—was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. on Friday, June 18, after being executed by firing squad.

Not surprisingly, Shurtleff’s tweets have caused some international debate.