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Jun 4, 2010 5:36 PM by Greg Boyce

Court rules against death row inmate in Utah

The Utah Supreme Court has denied a man's appeal of his death warrant two weeks before he is scheduled to be executed by firing squad.

The high court on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling that Ronnie Lee Gardner cannot challenge the signing of the warrant. The five justices agreed with prosecutors that a sentence can be appealed but not an order to carry out that sentence. Gardner is set to die by firing squad on June 18.

The 49-year-old was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die in 1985 for the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell that year.  Gardner has a separate appeal pending with the Utah Supreme Court that will be heard next week. The Utah parole board also will hold a hearing on whether to commute his sentence.

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