The Utah House passed legislation Tuesday that seeks to streamline the process for appealing death sentences.
Pointing to the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner last year, Rep. Kay McIff, R-Richfield, argued that it shouldn't take so long to carry out a death sentence and said his bill tries to expedite the process and ensure innocent people are not executed.
"[HB202 is] designed to recognize that 25 years is too long. That's the time that was taken in the Gardner case," said McIff, a retired judge. "There were four post-conviction appeals filed in the Gardner case, each one determined not to have merit, but each one adding additional years and hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars in additional expense."