June 17, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Time is running out for condemned killer Ronnie Gardner, scheduled to be executed after midnight.  Live reports from outside the prison.   And, Larry talks to Ronnie’s brother and the girlfriend of the man Gardner murdered.   She doesn’t want him to die!

Plus, BP’s CEO is roughed up by Congress today!  Reaction from Ben Stein, Stephanie Miller, Marc Lamont Hill & Dana Loesch.

What are your thoughts on the death penalty?

Weigh in below!

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Justice • Larry King Live

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Lori   June 17th, 2010 7:08 pm ET

Why isnt the government or BP trying Kevin Costners idea?? Where are all the people helping all the animals and wildlife covered in this disgusting oil? The conservation? or the employees of the marsh lands, etc? It is so heartbreaking to watch!

john doe   June 17th, 2010 9:08 pm ET

OBAMA acted like there was no problem at all!!! USA is the way!!! NOT THIS WAY!!!

Fran V   June 17th, 2010 9:08 pm ET

Death penalty is "alive" and well in Utah. What happened to ours in Florida???

Smith in Oregon   June 17th, 2010 9:11 pm ET

The Death Penalty in America should be federally banned and abolished, commuted to life in prison without parole and brought into alignment with European nations which would open up easier extradition from nearly all nations.

john doe   June 17th, 2010 9:13 pm ET

From DAY 38 til now, WHAT 20 day's and already got 20 billion, SOMEBODY has to make the man move!!! USA is the way!!! ALWAY'S!!!

Wes   June 17th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

The death penalty as a concept is a potentially workable solution to the most heinous crimes presented to society. In contemporary times, however, it's efficiency has been negated by arbitrary imposition and the judicial system's extreme lack of expediency in handling appeals. Even the most cold-blooded killer is not the same man after languishing for decades on death row.

Mike   June 17th, 2010 9:18 pm ET

It's simple math; kill and be killed. How much tax payer money could be saved by ridding the our nation of killers and child molesters. This should have been done long ago for this person and should be done everyday until the prisons are managable.

ed   June 17th, 2010 9:22 pm ET

We need to enlist the best professional engineering talent to come up with a solution to stop the flow.

Can the President ask NASA and the best private sector engineering and design firms for help? BP could release a technical brief with all relevant criteria for these engineers to work from.

Having all these sources working concurrently and separately would ensure we have a number of options to try one after the other if necessary.

Thank You.

john doe   June 17th, 2010 9:22 pm ET

OK, Can you all see how OBAMA handled this BP MESS, NOW we have other troubles at foot but he can't even get passed BP!!! DROWNING about sum's it up!!! USA is the way!!! ALWAY'S!!!

Robert fisher   June 17th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

When will we learn that killing people to show that killing people is wrong is totally illogical?onl

Charles   June 17th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

I agree that the death penalty should be abolished. Execution by firing squad is quite barbaric. I find it interesting that many seem to feel that because some of those in the firing squad do not have a real bullet, somehow they are less guilty of the barbaric act. They are all the same; they all signed up to kill someone. I sometimes wonder what kind of person (other than a passionate killing by a victim's family) would want to sign on for that. It takes all kinds and for sure we have all kinds.

Oshea   June 17th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

Although there are several very dangerous and despicable criminals, No one should have the right to decide the fate of someones life, not a judge, or even a jury, because then, we're just turning into the exact thing we're trying to eliminate.

amie   June 17th, 2010 9:48 pm ET

This is my uncle Ronnie people are talking about. Yes he comitted a crime and should be punished, yet I believe it should have been done before he became old and frail and a changed man as an adult!!!!

judy arvin   June 17th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

j do not see why the administratio can not see that Gen. Honora I not this is not the way you spell his name but is is the smartes man i've heard talk about cleaning up the spill. setting up zones an lrt the military come in and put a director in each zone and have reconison fly over and spot oil and do something.
Common sense is everything more than a lot os diplomas on your wall.
when he was sent into Ketrina he got things moving.
It's time to quit placing blame, and do something now.
Mr. president please the general plan into effect now.

ed   June 17th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

The immediate solution to this is a engineering one, not a political one.

We need leadership that is used to running "nuts and bolts" engineering projects to generate the best ideas then be able quickly execute them.

The patient is on the table and bleeding badly, we need the trauma surgeons of engineers to jump on this problem ASAP.

rita   June 17th, 2010 9:33 pm ET

The death penalty is very necessary in some cases. I have come 180 degrees on my views, now that I am older and much, much wiser.
There are just some people who don't deserve to live.

If we had a planet we could send killers to, that would be an alternative. Unfortunately, we don't!

Anna   June 17th, 2010 9:42 pm ET

Ronnie Lee Gardner's brother quotes the Bible saying "Thou shalt not kill," and yet the same Bible says, "He who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." This is easy to reconcile when you factor in what the Bible says about the government being delegated the authority to enforce this law by God. God did not give Ronnie Lee Gardner the authority to take anyone's life, but says the government should take his. If they want to quote the Bible, they need to be consistent, at least.

barbara   June 17th, 2010 9:43 pm ET

if we give these killers life there is always a chance they will get out on a technicality.
i say why should we spend thousands on rehab... this country will let them out to do it again.
when are we going to wake up. get rid of these misfits for good and may god do the rest.
if these judges would have a murder in their family.... see how fast the laws would change.
other countries dont have this problem. they execute without any problems.

Lora Nida   June 17th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

Why is it the "little people" are having to pay for the Big people's mess? make bp go to the unemployment offices of the gulf coast and meet the people they put out of work, then give them jobs.
I don't see the people making millions of dollars doing a thing right Mr President? oh I am sorry you did you had a press conference..big help

Bruce   June 17th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

Rather than wasting my time lamenting poor Ronnie Gardner's impending execution, why don't you use that time to remember the people he killed

Rita Brocato   June 17th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I am watching the show now and saw the family of the murderer on there and they said that in the bible it says Thou Shalt Not Kill. Well what about the person that this guy murdered? That person does not get a say on whether he or she should have died, so why shouldn't this person get that right either. I never have believed in the death penalty but in the last few years the way that people kill other people like it was not big deal then deserve to be killed also.

Sheila   June 17th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I am so for the death penalty. Defense lawyers always scream for the civil rights of the inmate, but what about the civil rights of the person they killed? Where were those attorneys when the person was raping, stabbing, shooting, the victims?

Mary Beth   June 17th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

The death penalty is abhorrent and should be banned throughout all 50 states!

Life without parole is enough.

I DO NOT believe in capital punishment.

Ramola   June 17th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

I am against death penalty. Put the person in prison, make him work like a dog, so he works for his expenses and also works for the next kin of the murdered victim.

Joni   June 17th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

My grandson asked me, "Why is it that a person that kills another person, gets the death penalty, when it is wrong to kill?"

kevin courtorielle   June 17th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

Ronnnie Lee Gardner daughter said "the bible says thou shalt not kill what gives them the right to kill just because they have a badge?" The Bible says to obey the laws of the land. The bible also says "... an eye for an eye..."

John   June 17th, 2010 9:52 pm ET

The death penalty is wrong. Homicide is barbaric. Two wrongs have never made a right.

Chastdy   June 17th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

Death Penalty is as it needs to be, in full swing. Life in prison only drains out the tax payers dollars when it could be used for schools, roads and other IMPORTANT things. I do not want my money going to feeding them murders. I actually feel they wait too long. I have a degree in criminal justice and I understand they are given the right for appeal because of new evidence that may come to light years later. This guy has been on death row for some 25 years. During that time I bet the schools in Utah are falling to pieces and they are busting tires from pot holes. Maybe 8 years is sufficient for an appeal, after that put them out of our misery.

Christie   June 17th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

Someone help me understand why one marksman does not have a bullet. He has problems down the road so he just simply convinces himself he didn't really kill the man because no doubt he had the blank. Am I the only one that thinks this is crazy. If you might have problems (and you should), don't find yourself in the firing squad.

Scott from Columbia, SC   June 17th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

Catching up on the DVR and astonished at the bad thinking I'm hearing from Ben Stein and Dana Loesch. Someone from the Tea Party thinks the govt. is just as responsible as BP because they should've had more oversight? Ben Stein would rather Congress have legislated a payout from a foreign oil company — speaking of Constitutional shenanigans — than work our a mutally agreed-upon escrow fund?

Sure, I'm a pointy-headed liberal intellectual, but do either of those opinions make ANY sense outside of party loyalty?

Tanya   June 17th, 2010 10:07 pm ET

Gardner likely requested the firing squad in the belief that the court would stay his execution. We have seen the court state lethal injection of an obese person to be cruel and unusual punishiment. Using that, he and his lawer likely thought a firing squad would be seen as worse than lethal injection of an obese person. I guess his caluations were wrong.... Which considering how liberal some judges are in our court system- I'm surprised.

I see a lot of people stating life without parole is "enough" Well, he knew the penalty when he killed two people. Furthermore, why should the American taxpayer pay for him to watch TV, get three meals a day and a roof over his head and possibly college classes for life? His execution should have been carried out a long time ago!

Jim   June 17th, 2010 10:24 pm ET

When someone deliberately takes the life of another person, whatever their motive, they must pay whatever penalty that the society in which they live determines is appropriate. In the U.S. most murderers are rewarded with free housing, free medical benefits, free TV and recreation, and free education at the expense of taxpayers, which costs about $50,000 per year per prisoner ( almost certainly will be more expensive in the future ).
If a murderer's family wants him to be jailed, let them pay for it instead of sticking the taxpayers with the bill.

rene goutte   June 17th, 2010 10:29 pm ET

Death Penalty
I am ashamed that my country, the United States of America, still allow some states to have the Death Penalty.
I have personally three reasons against the death Penalty:
1. Nothing gives someone the right to murder someone.
2. There are many examples of justice errors and executions of innocent human beings.
3. In some cases the death penalty is too cheap a price to pay as a punishment for horrific crimes.

Alyce Gillespie   June 17th, 2010 10:48 pm ET

Larry, I am a crime victim's survivor. My brother was brutally murdered. Many thoughts have caused me to dwell on how I felt about my brother's murderer. I wish to share this information from the King James Version of the Holy Bible – Genesis Chapter 9, verse 6 – " whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." My sympathies go to the victim's family, and the perpetrator's family. I have lived this horror for better than 12 years, so I know that there is much to deal with – on both sides.

Randall Ayers   June 17th, 2010 11:22 pm ET

I was taught an eye for an eye, but I also don't believe two wrongs make a right. There has been so much in the news about death and dying and the atrocities man does to his fellow man since 1/16/1991 that people are beginning to wonder, "Is every life so insignificant that we should squash people like bugs? This man deserves to die. Yes. But it seems as if it always becomes, as you put it, Larry, a circus atmosphere. Are we really that blood thirsty? Do we want this man to die because he murdered, or do we want him dead simply to satisfy our bloodthirsty need for revenge? I have decided only recently NOT to be a proponent of the death penalty, The killing must stop and it;s clear that the death penalty is not a deterrent, but a futile exercise in upholding the law. Murder is murder no matter how you dice it up.

Drew   June 17th, 2010 11:36 pm ET

People quote the Bible in which many things can be validated and disapproved many times over. The laws that where laid out in early scripture such as an eye for an eye or blood for blood was the way of of early scripture but the teachings of Jesus surely changed this way of life. If you follow the simple rules of christianity I don't know how you can support capital punishment, because christianity is built around love, forgiveness, and fairness for all people no matter their sins. Naturally when I think of gruesome crimes especially committed against children and in multitudes my natural instinct would be to kill them. Though, when I ask myself could I be the one that kills that person I think of "He who is without sin cast the first stone." I could do it because it is not for me to judge. God will judge this man, I cannot! On top of that it has been 25 years. Are these victims really getting there justice? If we do retain capital punishment in America we to to limit the appeal process and reduce the time between conviction to termination. One last thought I have seen many people talk about how we are going to save money by killing this guy. Well if you research it cost way more money to take a capital punishment inmate from conviction to death than it cost to house multitudes of life time inmates. Appeals cost a fortune where as locking someone up for 50 years only cost 3 meals and roof. Rest in peace Ronnie Gardener my prayers are with you, as well as, the victimes and their families.

Chief R   June 18th, 2010 12:10 am ET

Is very unfortunate that the once world leader in news...CNN has become a one side and bias network on the oil spill issue. It's very unfortunate what happened, BP is paying and will pay...they never said they won't. I have not seen a single person that A C has arrange to talk in the show in favor of's rally sad. No wonder BP won't talk to CNN

David Shannahoff-Khalsa   June 18th, 2010 12:14 am ET

Abolish the death penalty. This is a barbaric act that helps no one and only makes killing an OK deal when the state legalizes the act. The USA is very behind the times here, and we complain about the backward nature of countries (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) that also make state execution legal. Time to end the eye-for-an-eye simplistic mentality.

buddgoode   June 18th, 2010 12:26 am ET

This is good! Let see, first Ben Stein, speech writer for Richard Nixon! Enough said there, the biggest criminal in the history of politics next to Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Says Obama taking $20 billion from BP was criminal. Stein has no credibility, just another member of the criminal organization called the republican party!

Between the Republicans and the teabaggers im moving to North Korea so i can have some rights and be safe! Republicans care about 3 things.

1. Big business and the rich ppl involved who contribute to their campaigns.
2. Israel- not even going to get into that disaster
3. Taking rights and libertys away from the people and giving more power to the cops

And the teabaggers! Lets just say they are a group of criminally insane people who have watched way, way, way too much fox news

Fran   June 18th, 2010 12:34 am ET

I oppose the detah penalty; it is barbaric and anachronistic.

As for your panel, Lana comes across as being ignorant of the issues; and is unhelpful in a discussion that require facts and analysis.

Ron   June 18th, 2010 12:41 am ET

The standard of proof for a death sentence should be changed from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to a higher standard that requires scientific proof of guilt, such as DNA evidence. The current standard is not very reliable, leading to the execution and incarceration of innocent people.

Joseph Amirkhas   June 18th, 2010 12:42 am ET

President has been criticized for not calling Dutch and Norwegians to help with tapping the oil well.

I would like to know their past experience in tapping such a deep water well and ask the question, weren't Norwegians also partners with BP in north sea?

Besides, for the benefit of Tea party, why do they all of the sudden trust socialist countries such as Dutch and Norwegians?

Joseph Amirkhas

kaye bowman   June 18th, 2010 12:42 am ET

I dont believe in the death penalty,to many people wrongly accused. I dont think its mans job to decide when a man should die. We take it far more seriously when someone takes a life than we do when a man ruins the life of many children by molesting them. A child molester should never leave prison. On the other hand many men have killed because their on drugs whitch isnt excuse but they can change, and many do. How ever the molester doesnt. And we are so lax on that crime in many cases

sherry   June 18th, 2010 12:43 am ET

If even one innocent person is executed, then the death penalty must not be allowed. Also there is more of a financial burden trying to execute someone (along with all the appeals) than if we housed them in prison for life.
I feel abortion is also wrong. I wonder if instead of bombing clinics and killing in the name of saving the life of the unborn, we should concentrate on education and finding homes for unwanted babies.
My family has always hunted, and I believe that gun ownership comes with responsibilities. I do not feel an AK-47 is necessary for my protection or to provide food for my table.
Maybe I see the world and what is right or wrong in simplistic terms, but isn't this what our country's beginnings were based on?

larry king   June 18th, 2010 12:51 am ET

mr. larry, i'm watching you and the woman saying her husband wouldn't want him dead and to me it would seem like the five shooters ought to be judged when they get to heaven if they go thru with it. all i want to say to them, is: "mary mother of god!"

Liza Trujillo   June 18th, 2010 12:59 am ET

God bless Dona for her ability to forgive. I don't think I could've. It's true that "Thou shall not kill" is one of God's commandments but the bible also says "an eye for an eye". As for his right to the first amendment did Gardener give either his victims their first amendment rights when he made the decision to take their right to live.

Dan   June 18th, 2010 1:01 am ET

I think that the death penalty is supposed to be a deterrent. That's why the used to have public execution. Nowadays, it's all hidden. If you believe in capital punishment, why are you afraid to have it televised? THAT WOULD BE A DETERRENT!!!

Mary   June 18th, 2010 1:03 am ET

He's going out with a bang! Sad & somber show for the viewers. The family of the victim was forever changed because of his acts. I believe in the death penalty and I think it's crazy they get to be provided for so many years on tax payer dollars. Think of how many pelicans could be cleaned with that money!

Bernice J. Potvin   June 18th, 2010 1:05 am ET

Per haps the state officals should leave this in Gods hands.If he is a changed man or not, he should face judgement day, but at the hands of our Father,not a the hands of a judge,jurours,or media.An exacution only makes those who order it or do it,just as evil as the day this man took another life. For that, they will face judgement day also,I would not want to be in their shoes on their judgement day. Their kiling is as evil as what he did.If this man dies, I hope all who take party in this exacution,including the judge, don't find living easy. I hope the blood they mark their hands with haunts them till the day they face their judgement day.They have no right to put Gods work in their own hands. Good Luck and God Bless

Greg   June 18th, 2010 1:07 am ET

How can the commentator make the statement that if you think your are shooting a blank, the burden of his death would not be on your conscience. The fact that you are on the squad would assume that you have no problem with it...
What kind of journalistic reporting is this..
Scenario..I want to be an executor, but I really do not want to know if I killed someone.
I am not apposed to is what about to happen, but do not come up with these BS ideologies.

Mark Wells   June 18th, 2010 1:09 am ET

I think we should continue the death penality, in this backword world, people care more about the rights of the convicts then the victims. Only in this country can you rape or murder someone and you get to live in prision on the tax payer dollar. You do not have to work, you get food and shelter and they have access to free health care and free education. Most hard working, honest people can't afford health insurance and a college education. Ronnie Lee took two peoples lives and critically injured one other person, the punishment fits the crime. Those people he killed did not get a choice to live, he should not get the choice as well. We need to make an example of people like this, not enable them. Why do you think there is so much crime, we reward them for their bad behavior.

Zack Eury   June 18th, 2010 1:09 am ET

There is a separation of church and state in this Country for a reason. The Bible should not be in the same conversation as Capital Punishment.

V.Pootna   June 18th, 2010 1:13 am ET

The number of countries that have replaced death penalty with imprisonment for life is growing. The suffering on the convicted person is greater when awarded life in jail-he lives and suffers. In this enlightened day and age, capital punishment needs to be replaced with a more civilised practice.

PHILIP M BROWN   June 18th, 2010 2:15 am ET


Tami   June 18th, 2010 5:21 am ET

I was absolutely shocked and appalled at Ben Stein and Dana Loesch on tonight's program. How can anyone say that the President had absolutely no right to ask for financial restitution from BP but then in their next breath say that he should have done something before this. And to say that it is unconstitutional is ludicrous to me. Is it not the job of our President to protect the people of this country? Shame on you Mr. Stein and as for Ms. Loesch I do not think she had an intelligent comment at any time on this program other than to agree with something someone else said. What she had to say was a waste of time much like everything we have heard from the BP executives. Lets get some real experts in to debate this subject if it must be done, but debating is not gonna get this mess cleaned up. It would be a better sight if all the 'experts' strapped on some gear and went to Louisiana and helped to fix this problem. Maybe Ms. Loesch can be Aqua Man and swim down there and plug the leak herself!

Imani   June 18th, 2010 8:57 am ET

I dont necessarily agree with the death penalty but i do believe in a certain accountability this prisoners must take on because of the crime committed. my issue is we spend more than a college tuition housing this criminals a piece..providing them with, cable , a gym, and food..some things that the free world cant even not saying starve the criminal..but they dont deserve the luxury every one else does. the want to feel bad, put them in Iraq and Afghanistan to snuff out bin laden and his operatives and bring my boys back home. i know what its like to be in the Persian gulf. i spent half of my career there.I have no hatred towards Arab people or the religion Islam itself because that's not what we were placed in those countries for and to hate others because of their religion or where they decended from is not how i was raised... I dont blame anything on obama because this was implemented before his time.but he needs to have a plan to bring them back.America has ceased thinking as a whole country, and think on a more individual aspect.Congressman and senators who seductively get their way into office do rarely as much as they could and instead argue over a president with pre existing flaws. if you think he has issues, then like any good american or person for that matter "HELP HIM!!" dont be bias and talk smack about him..these rules and even slanders make the whole country look bad. not just one person. We are supposed to be the most powerful nation , lets cut the crap, help each other by seeing our similarities rather than our differences and get us back to where we need to be. There's no time for racism or discrimination, we are ALL suffering just a like. we can do this..

Ted   June 18th, 2010 11:29 am ET

I don´t know why Larry invited Ben Stein to give opinion on all different problems, he talks a lot of BS.

Wini   June 18th, 2010 1:15 pm ET

Everyone who has ever been born to woman has had a choice while living down on earth. Follow Jesus' Truth and you shall live. Follow Satan's lies and you shall die.

Unfortunately, Ronnie Lee chose death while existing on this earth by believing and following Satan's lies.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 5: 30

God Bless the entire squad team that saved the whole body (us) from being casted into hell.

Hugh in California   June 18th, 2010 7:31 pm ET

When it comes to capital punishment, I don't care what bible believers say, and don't care what any folks say, religious, atheist or otherwise who think that it's wrong to have the death penalty. I believe as most people do, that life is a precious gift, but callous murderers have no respect for anyone's life. If you care not for the precious gift of life and take a life away from another innocent human being, you give up your own right to live.
I also don't appreciate bible-thumpers quoting scripture, nor do I accept weak lame liberal whimps who argument against capital punishment - it is not barbaric. In my opinion, when you voice your passiveness to help murdering scum, whether intentionally or not, you are pathetic yourself, and equally so are the bible quoters who get a thrill seeing someone executed.
I'm not defending scripture, but for those who try to use the biblical argument "Though shalt not kill," the proper interpretation of that ancient passage is actually, "Though shall not murder!" That changes the whole dynamic of that argument, and if you don't believe me, look it up yourself.
Scoff or whine all you want, but killing is sometimes justifiable, when you are protecting your life or your family, when you are defending your country in war; and yes, when a jury condemns someone to death for the cold-hearted act of taking the life of an innocent human being who meant them no harm.

Earnest   June 18th, 2010 9:40 pm ET

I think that sentencing him to death didn't solve anything even the victims wife was against it.....he took someone's life he was the law wants to play God....killing him didn't bring the people lives back....forgive him give him time in jail and leave the rest between him and was wrong the law took his life....

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 20th, 2010 2:24 am ET

Why is this person smiling in that mug shot above I wonder. Nothing to smile about. Also, why have they left it so long to bring the death penalty on this man. I don't like it being carried out by execution. I think that is quite barbaric as could be said about the death penalty.

I am finding it difficult to comment on the death penalty personally. I know there are passages in the Bible that can relate to this. For instance........Matthew 5:38........."You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' Now this sounds barbaric too. There are other passages in Matthew Chapter 5 as well.

The Bible also teaches us forgiveness. Maybe some food for thought here.

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