Comments about ‘Is the death penalty dead in Utah?’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 29 2013 12:10 a.m. MDT

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Ogden, Utah

The death penalty is a joke. A person sentenced to death in this state is more likely to die of old age before their execution date arrives.

Houston, TX

This is fairly commmon.

The courts have made it incresingly difficult to purseu the death penalty.

Nationally, there have been about 700,000 murders since 1973, when new death penalty ststutes started to come back after Furman v Georgia vacated all death penalty ststutes in 1972.

Since then, nationally, there have been about 8300 death sentences, or about 1.3% of murders, with about 1300 executions, or about 0.2% of murders.

If about 10% of all murders are death penalty eligible, those would be 13% of the time a death sentence is given and 2% of the time executions are carries out, per capital murder.

Nationally, 37% of death penalty cases are overturnered on appeal.


This is very sad and it will get worse. Our so-called justice system has gone political correctness, therefore, justice becomes a joke. Punishment for a murderer is now called cruel and inhumane. So, they serve a few years, get out and murder someone else. Until we push for our government officials and politicians like Sam Gill to have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and do their jobs, they will continue to take the easy way out and go after easy targets. Remember the last State Attorney General,who refused to do his job regarding enforcing the immigration laws? The Salt Lake City Chief of Police joined in and the only thing missing was another ring and we have a circus. If we do not follow our laws and set consequences, why make them. Murderers will then get swift justice from their neighborhood mobs. Until we mean what we say, we will continue to fear for our lives walking at night in our own neighborhoods. I love Texas. They do not mess around with murderers.

Chandler, AZ

Was that "pun" intended?

Salt Lake City, UT

The bottom line is, it is costly and time sonsuming to push through a death sentence. It is also too easy to wrongfully convict someone of something they didn't do as very nearly happened to someone I grew up with. It is time that Utah join the growing number of states (New Mexico abolished capitol punishment a few years ago), and abolish the death penalty. Life without the possability of parole or pardon is a much better option and given the litigation costs cited above, now makes more cost sense. What hurts or slows down making this move is there are too many human rights activists who oppose this similarly to the death penalty and feel 20-25 years is the most anyone should spend in prison thereby forcing the state to focus on rehab. Problem is rehab isn't possible and is merely a fantasyland after thought. If the death penalty is abolished, then life without parole/pardon MUST remain an option for the courts for the people.

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court has made justice more trouble and expense than it is worth, in many cases. That is why things are like they are.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Not dead yet, there is a last minute appeal available.


"I can’t always remember their names, but in my nightmares I can see their faces. As the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections from 1992-1995, I oversaw five executions.

The men and women who assist in executions are not psychopaths or sadists. They do their best to perform the impossible and inhumane job with which the state has charged them. Those of us who have participated in executions often suffer something very much like posttraumatic stress.

When I was required to supervise an execution, I tried to rationalize my work by thinking, if I just save one future victim, maybe it is worth it. But I was very aware of the research showing that the death penalty wasn’t a deterrent. I left my job as corrections commissioner in Georgia in 1995 partially because I had had enough: I didn’t want to supervise the executions anymore.

Having witnessed executions firsthand, I have no doubts: capital punishment is a very scripted and rehearsed murder. It’s the most premeditated murder possible. "

The U.S.should be like every other civilized country and abolish the death penalty.

(Allen Ault "I Ordered Death in Georgia")

Kearns, UT

One appeal to the State Supreme Court, One appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That would suffice.

Mesa, AZ

If the legal system and society treat crimes such as murder with a casual attitude then mob justice will rule. What are the courts going to do sentence the vigilantes to death.

Houston, TX

Gillespie may of may not be wrong about costs in Utah.

Virgina has executed about 70% of those sent to death since 1976 (110 murderers executed) and has done so within 7.1 years, on average, a protocol which Utah could duplicate and would save money over life without parole.

The main thing in opposition to such a protocol are anti death penalty judges and legislators, who put road blocks in the way.

I review a number os state death penalty costs in "Saving Costs with The Death Penalty"

Houston, TX

Allegedly, Ault was the former director of corrections for Georgia. Really?

He doesn't know the difference between premeditated (illegal) murder and premeditated (due process, legal) execution. He would equate premeditated (due process, legal) incarceration and premeditated (illegal) kidnapping, as it would duplicate the error you said he made.

That would Indicate Ault can't tell the difference between crime and punishment or criminal and victim.

Hardly credible.

Salt Lake City, UT

Some of the posts here are pretty absurd. While the death penalty remains poular in Utah and within LDS culture, what are LDS Church members going to do when general leadership comes out and admonishes members within a nation to persue legally ending its implementation? This is something I have a feeling the church is much closer to doing than many realize. Execution is VERY hard on corrections officials who are charged in carrying it out as one poster above pointed out. Under the circumstances right or wrong, capitol punishment is classified as a homocide under most if not all state death certificate reporting protocols. Don't get me wrong, I detest the activity of the ACLU and other "criminal liberties activists," but "Life without the Possability of Parole or Pardon" is a better scenario, letting these criminals know they'll be in a maximum security unit until the herse pulls up. "You go to prison, you DON'T GET OUT!"

Rock Springs, WY

Agree with flashback, with DNA evidence available one appeal at each level. This will at least cut down on repeat offenders which is a big problem and cut down on gang influences in the prison system. The liberals cry for stronger gun laws. Why not stronger and harsher punishments.

Murray, UT

DNA Exonerations Nationwide

There have been 311 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 36 states; since 2000, there have been 244 exonerations.

• 18 of the 311 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.

• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13.6 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,156.

• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.

Races of the 311 exonerees:

193 African Americans
94 Caucasians
22 Latinos
2 Asian American

the truth
Holladay, UT


It is not about deterring crime, that is what the political correctness enforcers and liberals want you to believe.

It is about punishing a murderer for their murderous crimes.

It is about administering justice for the victims.

It is about nothing else.

When you make it about other things it stops and robs justice.

The funny thing is when allow murder to live it punishes the tax payer who forced to pay for everything.

That is why having a convict sitting in a jail cell at the innocents expense is not always the answer to justice.

Dietrich, ID

The church won't ever tell the people to oppose capital punishment. As a matter of fact The Several scriptures are pro death penalty. As for races on death row people don't go to death row do to race they do due to there crime. As for innocents many guilty go free and murder innocent people. Car's kill innocent people too do we abandon them.

If someone knew they would die shortly there would be fewer murders committed.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Is the death penalty dead in Utah?"

It is, so long as "justice" in Utah is in the hands of politically-motivated, pro-crime prosecutorial regimes such as Sim Gill's.

And blather to the effect that "[t]here have been 311 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States" merely muddies the water.

Actually, there hasn't been a single "exoneration." Merely a few disingenuous re-examinations of decades-old evidence, coupled with decisions not to retry cases, typically because victims and witnesses are dead, missing, or unwilling to be re-victimized, evidence has gone stale or missing, and callow, pro-crime, law school-affiliated defense mills have unfairly targeted long-dead, born-again anti-death penalty, or disgusted/disinterested prosecutors.

It's simply disingenuous to declare that DNA evidence has "exonerated" anyone.

Santee, CA

The problem is gutless, lazy prosecutors who'd rather get a plea bargin than try a case.

Why are the 8 that are currently on death row still alive? Many have been there over 20 years. That is NOT justice. They've been tried and convicted, carry out the sentence.


We kill innocent human beings in the womb but let murderers live.

Even where there is a confession of murder we let killers live while their victims are dead without hope of reprieve.

Sometimes the inflicted deaths have been cruel and hideous but the "learned" spin their sophisticated webs of deceit as to why the confessed murderer should live and be freed after a few years in prison. They defend first degree murderers and attack those who seek the protection of society and the execution of justice as being "vengeful".

This is one of the most notorious of the many core cases where "the people" are ignored, their wishes despised and ignored.

I hope that Utah will soon make the case for justice and not political correctness.

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