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Jun 18, 2010 5:59 PM by Greg Boyce

Utah Attorney General sent tweet about execution

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is defending his use of Twitter to tell the world that he had given the Department of Corrections the OK to execute a condemned man by firing squad.

Shurtleff's tweet shortly before Ronnie Lee Gardner was shot to death Friday morning drew criticism from other Twitter users and on comment boards from those who found his use of the microblogging site distasteful.

Shurtleff's post said: "I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims."  Tweeting news of interest is not uncommon for Shurtleff and he has more than 7,000 followers.

Last year, he accidentally tweeted he was running for U.S. Senate, a campaign he has since abandoned.

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