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Jun 3, 2010 7:27 PM by Greg Boyce

Utah inmate challenges death warrant

A condemned inmate set for execution this month by firing squad has challenged his death warrant before the Utah Supreme Court.

Attorneys for Ronnie Lee Gardner have asked justices to reverse a state court judge's order of execution and impose a lifetime prison sentence.  As an alternative, Gardner's attorney says the case also could be sent back to state court for a new sentencing hearing. The 49-year-old Gardner is scheduled to be executed June 18.

State attorneys say Gardner has no right to appeal the signing of a death warrant. Chief Justice Christine Durham on Thursday said the five-member panel would take the arguments under advisement. It wasn't clear when a ruling would be issued.

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