Statement of Ralph Dellapiana, Director, Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, on failed repeal of death penalty in Utah (3/10/16) “The death penalty is being eliminated everywhere around the country and the progress made on the bill this year shows that it will soon be repealed here in Utah too. The death penalty wastes millions of dollars and almost never results in executions. And, it harms the families of victims when cases drag on for decades because their wounds are re-opened again and again and they never have closure.”
Salt Lake Tribune: Death penalty survives in
Washington Post: Utah will
keep the death penalty after all (3/11/16)
Yahoo News: Utah legislator abandons push to end death penalty, but attempt is telling (3/11/16)
VICTORY! Utah Senate gives initial OK to death penalty repeal (3/1/16)
TAKE ACTION: It’s Time to End the Death Penalty in Utah! (3/1/16)
Trib Talk: Senate to debate capital punishment (2/29/16) Anna Brower of
the ACLU of Utah and Utah Eagle Forum's Maryann Christensen join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to discuss Sen. Steve Urquhart's bill to end capital punishment, which cleared a Senate committee last
Op-ed: Utah should shine its moral light and end the death
The Washington Post: Why one Utah Republican changed his mind on the death penalty — and is leading the effort to abolish it (2/26/16)
Libertas Institute: The High Price of Retribution: A Case for Repealing the Death Penalty in Utah (1/8/16)
SL Tribune: Sen. Urquhart wants to abolish Utah's 'broken' death penalty (2/9/16)
Utah is the only state to allow execution by firing squad
(3/16/15) Despite a close vote in the House, the Utah legislature passed HB 11, the “firing squad” bill, by a nearly 2/3 majority. There was a surge of letters, emails, and signatures on petitions (including a petition with over 6,000 signatures that UTADP delivered to the Governors office on March 19,) asking Governor Herbert to veto the bill. Instead, on March 23, he signed it into law bring Utah, once again, into the international spotlight. This law will allow Utah to revert back to using the firing squad as a method of carrying out state-sponsored murder, should lethal injection drugs prove unavailable when we next carry out an execution in the state. While it could be at least two years before the next possible execution, Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will continue to educate and advocate on behalf of an abolition to capitol punishment. UTADP letter to Governor Herbert asking him to Veto HB 11 (3/16/15)
6/29/12 - Forty Years after Furman: Still "Fastened to the Obsolete"
The ACLU discuses the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling which declared the death penalty unconstitutional.
Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (UTADP) began in 2010 to bring attention to the problems associated with the death penalty and to open a dialog with the diverse parties regarding this important issue. Our membership quickly grew to include several professional and civil rights organizations, the leaders of ten distinct religious denominations, and hundreds of individuals including a former Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, a long-time Salt Lake County District Attorney, and several murder victim family members.
It is an exciting time for the movement to end the death penalty. Practically all nations in the Western World have ended the use of the death penalty. And, in the United States public support for the death penalty is waning. Connecticut’s legislature just voted to repeal its death penalty, making five states in the last five years that have ended the use of the death penalty. Plus, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a moratorium on the death penalty in his state, and there will be a referendum on the ballot this fall in California to save a billion dollars by repealing the death penalty.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN UTAH
Last year was a time of transition for many, including Utahns for
Alternatives to the Death Penalty (UTADP). Rocky Anderson closed his organization High Road for Human Rights, to pursue other opportunities to make a change on the national level. Since
donations to UTADP were submitted through High Road for Human Rights, this required us to find another non-profit organization so that donations to UTADP could remain tax-deductible. Brian
Barnard, a prominent civil rights attorney in Salt Lake City, has provided a home in through his organization, Utah Civil Rights & Liberties Foundation, Inc. (UCR&LF), until we are able to
incorporate into our own 501(c)(3).
Further, in 2011, our web presence has had to change locations. We were able to keep our name and can still be found here: www.utadp.org. However, we lost a great deal of our web content in making this move. Realizing the importance of social media, UTADP has expanded our internet presence through a facebook page www.facebook.com/#!/groups/120204731330310. See the front page for details about an opportunity to be UTADP’s new Webmaster.
In Utah, UTADP recognizes our most persuasive arguments will be backed by hard facts. We wholeheartedly support the completion of a Utah public opinion poll regarding the death penalty to be conducted by UVU students and the production of a poll of Utah police chiefs regarding sentencing alternatives conducted by Weber State University. Additionally, the University of Utah is conducting a cost study analysis of the Death Penalty. Each of these important studies will provide our legislators and supporters with the opinions and data from Utah citizens as a basis for making smart policy decisions.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
We are eager to receive suggestions and support. Of course we are always appreciative of monetary
donations. Donations to UTADP will be used directly in funding our presence in local events, as well as signage and materials. Donations made in April will go to pay for our table and
supplies at this month’s Republican State Convention. We also have ongoing expenses related to our website that we need to fund. We are all volunteers at UTADP so 100% of your donation
goes directly to costs. And, your donations are 100% tax deductible. If you wish to donate to support this important cause, you may write a check to our fiscal
sponsor UTAH CIVIL RIGHTS AND LEGAL FOUNDATION (UCR&LF) and note on the check that it is for “Anti-Death Penalty Work” and mail the check to: UTADP, PO BOX 1941, Salt Lake City, Utah
We have accomplished a great deal since our inception just two years ago. With your help and continued support we will continue to bring awareness to this important issue and advocate for Utah to adopt alternatives to the death penalty which are faster, cheaper, and better for the families of crime victims. And the money saved can be used on more efficacious public safety investments such as putting more officers on the street.