Triple-killer James Louis Holland has announced no plans to appeal his conviction to forestall an April 10 execution date.
But the date will likely be stayed by an automatic Utah Supreme Court appeal."Mr. Holland has expressed a desire to proceed with the execution" recently and wants to waive his right to an appeal, said Utah Assistant Attorney General Sandra Sjogren. A hearing before 3rd District Judge Homer Wilkinson, who imposed Holland's death sentence, is scheduled for Thursday. Holland's wishes concerning the sentence and rights to an appeal will be discussed at that hearing. But a waiver of the appeal doesn't appear to be an option, Sjogren said.
Sjogren said a statute making a Supreme Court review of a death sentence automatic was repealed last year, but a second statute remains on the books and will send the sentence before the Supreme Court regardless of Holland's wishes.
Holland pleaded guilty in 1987 to the July 4, 1986, murder of 70-year-old Samuel Patt of Winter Haven, Fla. Patt's body was found by Summit County authorities on the east side of I-84 near Echo Reservoir. The Utah Supreme Court overturned that sentence in 1989, ruling that Wilkinson had made a mistake in the sentencing procedure by not considering other sentencing options. Wilkinson reinstated the death penalty in a hearing last month.
He confessed to the killing while serving a sentence in Florida for robbery. He has also been convicted of killing two other men, both at the same Idaho highway rest stop where he met Patt.