Utah attorney general announces execution on Twitter

Illustration for article titled Utah attorney general announces execution on Twitter

Today marked an evolution of sorts for Twitter. It's no longer just for following your favorite celebrity rants or for informing your followers you're having a ham sandwich or just took a shower.


And self-promotion on Twitter seems so yesterday. Consider Friday's tweets from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Around midnight, he tweeted that he'd given "the go ahead" to execute condemned inmate Ronnie Gardner.

Moments after the tweet to the attorney general's roughly 7,000 followers, Gardner was executed by firing squad.

Illustration for article titled Utah attorney general announces execution on Twitter

"May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims," Shurtleff tweeted. He also tweeted that it was "A solemn day" and to "Mourn his victims" around the same time Gardner was being pelted by a five-man firing squad.

To be sure, Shurtleff also invoked Twitter for what Twitter and politicians do best: self-promote.

"We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I'm told Gardner is dead. Watch it at www.attorneygeneral.Utah.gov/live.html," he tweeted.


Firing Squad is trending right now on Twitter.

This post originally appeared on Wired's Threat Level.



I must admit I find this troubling. Maybe it's just a sign I'm not as advanced in tech and society as I thought I was, but this seems... I don't know. There should be a certain level of... Professionalism? No, that's not the word. Respect? No, the man is a horrible person, respect is the last thing he needs...

It just seems off to me. Twitter is alright, I don't use it myself, but I certainly don't dislike it for communicating with friends, or even fans if you're a celebrity... But to announce an execution like this over Twitter? It seems wrong to me somehow. Anyone else have thoughts on the matter?