Utah Needs Death Penalty Reform

Utah Needs Death Penalty Reform

Utah Needs to stop wasting money on Federal Appeals Process. If a Convicted Felon wants to appeal a death sentence, then they should pay for it.

Cost estimates for the price of the death penalty in Utah are limited, the group noted. Legislative analysts in 2012 estimated that a death sentence and decades of appeals costs $1.6 million more than a life-without-parole sentence. Another more recent report estimated that Utah and its counties have spent almost $40 million to prosecute the 165 death-penalty eligible cases that have been filed in the last two decades. Only two cases in that time have resulted in a death sentence.
- CCJJ group

The Only Winners in the Federal Appeals Process are Lawyers

According to the 6th Amendment to the Constitution: 

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

The US Constitution Does Not Mandate that the Payment to Attorneys Should Fall on the Public.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

OPTION 1: Mandate That Convicted Murderers Pay Their Own Lawyer Fees. Just like any other member of the Public.

OPTION 2: Pay Public Defenders an Annual Salary to Represent Death Penalty Appeals on behalf of defendants. $80,000 Year to represent 20 Defendants through the Appeals Process. 

OPTION 3: Allow Anti-Death Penalty Groups to Bear the Expense on a Voluntary Basis.  

Utah Only Has 7 People on Death Row. 2,004 Serving Life Sentences

The reluctance to use the Death Penalty has forced Utah Taxpayers to absorb the additional cost of warehousing Convicted Criminals for Life. In 2015 (Last figures available), it cost Taxpayers $22,000 per year for 1 inmate.  That translates into over $44 Million Dollars in Taxpayer Money every year.

We Need to Stop Wasting Tax-dollars on Lawyers.

The three solutions offered in this article are legal and moral. Society is not obligated, under the Bill of Rights to pay attorney fees. This is the result of Attorneys Making Utah Laws. Many of which, were Defense Attorneys, or still are. Those that feel compassion for criminals that had their Trial by Jury and were found Guilty by all 12 Jurors. All 12 Jurors agreed on the guilt of the convicted criminal. In State Appeals have been more than adequate through most of our history.

Utah Governor Should Be the Final Appeal

Historically, the State Governor was the Court of Last Resort. We need to get back to that system. Federal Appeals are both unnecessary and cost prohibitive for the Utah Taxpayers. 

The Constitution Does Not Guarantee a Convicted Criminal a Pain Free Death

It simply prohibits the state from using a Cruel or Unusual Punishment. Abortions are both cruel and unusual for the infant in the womb. A fast death by execution, where no torture is involved, is both humane and Customary for imposing the Death Sentence.

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