Two of Utah's most notorious murderers will be back in court Friday to receive new execution dates.
Arthur Gary Bishop, sentenced in 1984 to die for the murders of five boys, will appear at 9 a.m. before Judge Frank G. Noel, who will set an execution date sometime within the next 30 to 60 days.Ronald Watson Lafferty, the religious zealot who said he and his brother, Dan, killed their brother's wife and daughter in 1984 at God's behest, will appear at 8 a.m. before 4th District Judge Boyd Park, who will sign a new death warrant.
Of the two, Bishop's is probably the court appearance to be taken more seriously. Bishop, 38, has said he wants to end his appeals and pay for his crimes. The Utah Supreme Court lifted his stay of execution and cleared the way for an his death in early June.
Lafferty has not indicated a similar desire to die, but Assistant Utah Attorney General Sandra Sjogren asked the Utah County attorney's office to request a new execution date after she had not heard word on appeals.
Defense attorney Gary Weight said he intended to file a new appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, but Sjogren says she has not been notified of any new appeals. Lafferty has until May 18 to appeal to the Supreme Court, and stays are customarily granted during such appeals.