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The Death Penalty Survives Another Session

Whittney Evans/KUER
Rep. Gage Froerer talks to media after killing his bill to repeal the death penalty.

Utah will not abolish the death penalty this year. A bill to outlaw capital punishment in the state died Friday on the House floor.

Republican Rep. Gage Froerer killed his bill without debate. He said he didn’t have the votes.

“We’ve had those debates in caucus,” Froerer said. “We’ve had them in private meetings. We’ve raised the level of interest and understanding of this issue. So it really came down to, do we spend an hour of floor time on a bill that’s at best a 50/50 chance?”

In Utah and nationwide, studies show Republican support for the death penalty is waning. They say it’s too expensive and takes too long to carry out — delaying justice for victims.

Froerer hopes to see another effort to repeal the death penalty next year, but he won’t be the sponsor. Froerer isn’t running for re-election.


Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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