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Condemned US Killer to Face Execution by Firing Squad

A convicted killer in the western U.S. state of Utah has chosen to die by firing squad, in Utah's first execution in more than 10 years.

Ronnie Lee Gardner indicated his preference at a state court in Salt Lake City Friday.

He was convicted in 1985 of fatally shooting an attorney during a failed escape attempt at a courthouse in the same city.

Under state law, the 49-year-old Gardner had a choice between death by lethal injection or a by five-person team of shooters.

Utah is one of two states that permit execution by firing squad. Utah outlawed the method in 2004, but prisoners convicted before then still have it as an option.

The central U.S. state of Oklahoma also permits death by firing squad, but only if other methods are rejected in particular cases.

Lethal injection is the preferred means of executing prisoners in the U.S., whose Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Since then, only two prisoners in the U.S. have been executed by firing squad, both of them in Utah.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.