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Roth issued his decision Wednesday to appoint attorney Richard P. Mauro to represent Menzies.

"The court ultimately concludes that it has the authority to appoint unwilling counsel to represent the petitioner here, but only if the attorney appointed is justly compensated," Roth wrote.

Roth is expected to ask Mauro for evidence of past and future expenses. If the amounts are reasonable, he will authorize payment by the Utah Division of Finance.

If the division doesn't pay, Roth will hold a hearing to resolve the issue - and may release Mauro if the pay is inadequate.

No lawyers stepped forward to take the case because, "Without exception, the attorneys contacted indicated that, given what is at stake and the amount of time and effort required to competently litigate any post-conviction death penalty case, the amounts available under the regulation are inadequate," to represent the client or compensate the attorney, Roth wrote.

Under the current system, funding is capped at $37,500. The money is paid in predetermined amounts for certain tasks, such as filing a brief.

The Utah Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers says the cap and the time required sometimes means attorneys are earning $10 an hour.

Menzies was convicted of capital murder in the 1986 kidnapping and killing of Maurine Hunsaker, a mother of three whose body was found in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

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