Committee approves proposal to alter death penalty appeals

Committee approves proposal to alter death penalty appeals



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Senate committee has approved a proposal to amend the Utah Constitution to allow state lawmakers, rather than the courts, to regulate post-conviction appeals after a killer's conviction and sentence have been upheld by a judge.

A committee passed the proposal on a 4-3 vote Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate. Two-thirds of lawmakers have to vote for Senate Joint Resolution 14 to put it on the 2010 ballot.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has said the state Constitution should be changed to streamline the post-conviction appeals process and shorten the time convicted killers are on death row before execution.

But Daniel Medwed, a law professor at the University of Utah, argues the amendment is overbroad and violates the separation of powers.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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