To: Steve Urquhart,
Subject: Sen. Urquhart's Death Penalty Errors
Date: Thu Mar 10 13:57:57 MST 2016
To: Governor Gary Herbert and staff
Utah House, Senate and staff
Attorney General Sean Reyes and staff
Utah Prosecution Council
Utah Sheriffs' Association
Media throughout Utah
From: Dudley Sharp
Dear Sen. Urquhart:
Please, reconsider.
As detailed, you are in error on your three main points:
1) you are factually wrong on costs;
2) you wrongly blame the death penalty for immoral folks making death row inmates into "rock stars", obviously, not the fault of the death penalty and
3) you bemoan the harm of long appeals upon victims' survivors, missing the entire problem, which is the fault of management, where, in other states, death row murderers are executed within 7 years of full appeals, on average, with it being 20 years in Utah. As 95% of victim survivors support the death penalty, FIX IT!
1) Saving Costs With the Death Penalty
The death penalty cost review (1)  your herald is, completely, useless and a correct, full review could find the death penalty less expensive than life without parole (LWOP) (1).
Your study:
-  did not calculate nor estimate either the cost of the death penalty nor of LWOP (1);
-  underestimated both medical/geriatric care and appellate costs of about $700,000 per LWOP case (1), which might double to a $1.4 million error, because of the study's methodology (1); and
-  excluded the plea bargain to LWOP, a huge cost saver for the state and which could erase any higher cost of the death penalty, if there is any, or could make LWOP cheaper than the death penalty, as the costs savings is credited to the death penalty (1).

2.  You Can Name The Death Row Murderers But Not Their Victims - Making "Rock Starts" Out of Death Row Inmates
Senator, the death penalty is not the problem, here  --  it is the immoral perspective of those who would raise murderers to rock star status and discount the innocent murder victims.
No death penalty is necessary, as these most infamous murderers attest - Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Jesse James, Jack the Ripper, demonstrating your error - again, it is not the death penalty's fault.
You could have set the example, here, identifying all the innocent murder victims in Utah's death row cases, sending those names and the manner of their murders to all legislators,  and, then, inviting their loved ones to come speak before the legislature, to make sure those innocents murdered were the centerpiece of testimony before the legislature.
I am told that Rep. Ray made great strides in that direction. Thank you.
An important addition:
1) Claudia Benn, 49, was at home when her three granddaughters witnessed her brutal murder --  her throat was cut four times from ear to ear,  down to the spine, she was sexually assaulted and slashed repeatedly in the genital area, beaten severely about the face and head.
One of the grandaughters was sexually assaulted, causing injury and bleeding to her genitals and she was slashed repeatedly with a kitchen knife.
Iron County Attorney Scott Burns stated that Benn was a superstar in the Paiute community."
Her name was not used on the Utah death row page.
More victim's here (2).

3) Victims' Survivors Suffering Through Long Appeals
Again, you wrongly blames the death penalty, when this is a management problem.
Since 1976, Virgina has executed 70%, or 111,  of her death row murderers, within 7 years of full appeals, on average (1b).
Utah takes 20 years, on average, to execute. Why? Mismanagement. If Virginia can do it, Utah can fix it.
95% of victim survivors support the death penalty (3).
Why would you choose to harm more victims instead of fixing the mismanagement problems?
Legislators, attorney generals, Governors, judges, defense and prosecutor death penalty specialists should have open meetings to discuss why some judges are much more responsible than others. Judges are the case managers, in control of timing and costs, at all stages, pre trial, trial and appeals (4).
Sen. Urguhart, all your other points arerefuted, here (5). Please review and fact check.
1) a) Problems: Utah Death Penalty Cost Study
Inaccurate Cost studies are the rule, as detailed:
2)  Gordan Ray Church was tortured, raped, his arm was broken, his throat was cut, he was bound with tire chains and a bungee cord and he was beaten to death. His name was not used on the Utah death row page.
Eva Olesen, 57, was stabbed 10 times and shot once in the back of the head during a burglary of her southeast Provo home,  Her name was not used on the Utah death row page.
Maureen Hunsaker was kidnapped, handcuffed and held hostage before she was killed by being strangled and having her throat cut. Her name was used on the Utah death row page.
Hopefully, Sen. Urquhart will complete the list, making the names of those innocents murdered more well known.
see  more cases at  Utah's Death Row
3 ) 95% Death Penalty Support by Capital Murder Victim Survivors
4) Judges Responsible For Grossly Uneven Executions
5)  The Death Penalty: Justice & Saving More Innocents