Ronnie Lee Gardner was sentenced to die for killing an attorney during an attempted 1985 courthouse escape.
On Monday, March 19, 2007, he told Judge Tena Campbell that since he is suffering so much pain from rheumatoid arthritis, he wants to drop his legal appeals and face execution. Gardner claims that a physician at the prison gave him the idea. This prompted Judge Campbell to state, “You should always follow your doctor’s orders, except in legal matters.”
The judge asked Gardner not to drop his appeal until she rules on an ongoing appeal issue in his case, which will come within weeks. Judge Campbell also said she would have a civil attorney contact Gardner about getting the treatment he needs – part of a new federal bar program designed to provide free legal services to inmates with meritorious civil rights cases.