That's the title of a lengthy article published in the Deseret News, examining current captial punishment trendss in Utah. It's written by Emiley Morgan. Here's the beginning of this must-read:
It has been more than five years since anyone has been added to Utah's death row.
But that doesn't mean there's been a shortage of brutal murders that qualify as potential death penalty cases.
From Jan. 1, 2008, to Aug. 13, 2013, an analysis of data from the Utah state courts shows that 66 aggravated murder charges were filed against 54 people statewide, meaning prosecutors believed the elements of the crimes could qualify them as potential capital murder cases. But prosecutors took the next step — filing a notice of intent to seek the death penalty — in only seven of those cases, a search of court records shows.
"We may file several aggravated murder cases a year, but that does not mean they're capital cases," veteran Salt Lake County deputy district attorney Robert Stott said.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said notice of intent to seek the death penalty has only been filed by his office three or four times since 1992. Since Gill took the D.A. post in 2010, he said he has yet to file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in a case.
Polls show that a large majority of Utahns support the use of the death penalty — more so than the rest of the country. Yet in many cases, Utah prosecutors are not pursuing the ultimate punishment.
Is the death penalty dead in Utah?
Earlier coverage from Utah begins at the link.