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Death penalty appeals plan faces easier hurdle

Death penalty appeals plan faces easier hurdle



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A legislative advisory panel has been told that a plan to limit death penalty appeals in Utah could take effect without a state constitutional amendment.

Rep. Kay McIff told the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission on Thursday that the appeal process can be streamlined with a simple change to Utah Supreme Court rules and a state statute.

The commission, which has been wrestling with the issue for two years, unanimously approved the proposal.

Chairman Jon Memmott, a 2nd District judge, says the panel would draft a letter to the Legislature recommending the plan.

Supporters of the proposal say Utah effectively has no death penalty because convicted killers have been allowed repeated appeals.

Ten inmates currently reside on Utah's death row.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

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

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