To: David Lifferth,
Subject: It's time to end the death penalty in Utah!
Date: Wed Mar 09 15:02:50 MST 2016
Lynn Martinez 758 East 675 South Brigham City, UT 84302-3328 March 9, 2016 The Honorable David E. Lifferth Utah House of Representatives 350 North State Street, Suite 350 Salt Lake City, UT 84114 Representative Lifferth: Please vote yes on SB189, "Death Penalty Amendments," sponsored by Senator Steve Urquhart. This bill will end all future use of capitol punishment which is expensive, ineffective and unconstitutional. The Legislative Fiscal Analyst Office reports that it costs the state of Utah about $1.6 million more per inmate, from trial to execution, than it costs for life without parole. We can put this funding toward better use in a variety of places throughout Utah's criminal justice system: reforming our state's indigent defense system, fully funding the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, improving County Jail conditions, and more! Decisions about who lives and who dies are largely dependent upon how much money the defendants have, the skill of their attorneys, the race of their victim and where the crime took place. Regardless of how you feel about the death penalty in theory, its application is plagued with systemic injustices. Life in prison is a far better alternative to the death penalty. It is a severe sentence that both keeps us safe and protects against wrongful executions. It is a swift sentence which is often preferred by victims' families over the years of mandatory appeals associated with death sentences. Capital punishment is an intolerable denial of civil liberties and is inconsistent with the fundamental values of our democratic system. The death penalty is uncivilized in theory and unfair and inequitable in practice. Thank you for voting yes on SB189 to end the future use of the death penalty in Utah. Sincerely, Lynn Martinez