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Utah's governor says he is reevaluating his stance on the death penalty

Posted at 12:42 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 19:42:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY  — Governor Spencer Cox told reporters on Thursday he is reevaluating his stance on the death penalty.

Asked about a bill in the Utah State Legislature that would "repeal and replace" the death penalty, the governor said he had not yet taken a position on it.

"I've been supportive of the death penalty in the past but certainly I've had occasion to reevaluate... my feelings about the death penalty," Gov. Cox said. "I think certainly anytime we take a life, especially government taking a life, it's a very conservative thing to do to pause and make sure we get that one right."

The bill, introduced last month, would repeal capital punishment in Utah. It would be replaced by a new sentencing structure that includes a new 45-years-to-life in prison sentence, in addition to 25-years-to-life in prison and life without parole. The seven men still on death row would still face execution and not have their sentences commuted, the sponsors of the legislation have told FOX 13.

Recently, the sister of a high-profile Utah murder victim spoke out in support of repealing the death penalty because of how long it takes to get justice.