Gardner's daughter, Brandie Gardner, put her hands to her face and sobbed.
For the nation, the 49-year-old Salt Laker's death by four bullets marked what could be the last execution of its kind in the country.
"I just hope my sister, who just passed away, and my father, and all of the other victims are waiting for his sorry ass.
I hope they get to go down after him." Just after midnight, Gardner's family members leaned against each other in a tight cluster and sobbed.
Earlier this month, attorneys for the son of a Provo woman killed in her home during a 1985 robbery by death row inmate Douglas Stewart Carter asked a federal judge to speed up appeals in that 25-year-old case. He didn't have any closure," said Gary Olesen, son of victim Eva Olesen. "I'm hearing from a lot of people, 25 years is just too long," said Shurtleff."It's ridiculous." Ralph Dellapiana, an attorney affiliated with Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said he hopes Gardner's death will spark discussion "that this arbitrary process be changed to something else." The last two executions in Utah have been of killers who halted their own death-row appeals.John Albert Taylor was executed in 1996 after eight years on death row, while Joseph Mitchell Parsons spent 11 years on death row before his 1999 execution. Gardner's appellate attorneys have argued unsuccessfully over the years that if his jurors had known about the mitigating facts surrounding his troubled childhood -- poverty, drugs, violence and sex abuse -- they would have sentenced him to life in prison.Gardner then forced prison officer Richard Thomas, who was also in the basement, to conduct him out of the archives room to a stairwell leading to the second floor.As Gardner crossed the lobby, he shot and seriously wounded Nicholas G.