Proposal would alter death penalty appeals

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says the state constitution needs to be changed to streamline the appeals process and shorten the time convicted killers stay on death row.

Shurtleff says the Utah Supreme Court sometimes ignores state laws governing post-conviction relief. That gives some convicted killers time for additional appeals and delays justice for the families of the victims.

A proposal backed by Shurtleff would give state lawmakers the power to set limits on post-conviction appeals.

Of 10 men currently on Utah's death row, nine have active appeals. About half the men were convicted in the 1980s.

The proposal must be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and then placed on the ballot in the 2010 general election for voters to decide.

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

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