Week ending March 22, 2015

PRISON RELOCATION

Grantsville takes action to block new prison by Katie McKellar, KSL.com

“Grantsville city officials are taking matters into their own hands to prevent the Utah State Prison from landing inside the city’s borders, but that doesn’t mean the Utah Legislature will listen.”

Biskupski rips Becker for linking prison and sales tax hike by Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Salt Lake City mayoral candidate Jackie Biskupski lashed out at Mayor Ralph Becker on Monday, alleging he cut a back room deal surrounding the relocation of the state prison and a possible sales tax hike.”

UTAH LEGISLATURE

Gov. Herbert ‘leaning toward’ signing firing squad bill by Katie McKellar, Deseret News

“With roughly 490 bills awaiting his consideration, Gov. Gary Herbert indicated Thursday he’s “leaning toward” signing one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed during the 2015 Utah Legislature. HB11, which survived narrow votes in the House and Senate, would allow firing squad executions in the absence of lethal injection drugs.”

IN COURT

Utah jury hears whether Douglas Lovell should be executed for 1985 murder by Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Joyce Yost lived to be 39 years and 219 days old before she was murdered by Douglas Anderson Lovell in 1985. Years later, when her son, Greg Roberts, reached that age, he said he remembered that day and remembered how he felt.”

OPINION

Herbert has until April 1 to make up his mind in the St. George Daily Spectrum

STORIES OF INTEREST

Too Old to Commit Crime? by Dana Goldstein, The New York Times

“DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV is facing the death penalty or life in prison for the Boston Marathon bombing. But what if, instead, the maximum prison sentence were just 21 years? That was the sentence that Anders Behring Breivik received in 2012 after killing 77 people, most of them teenagers attending a summer program, in Norway in 2011.”

Gov. Rauner creates commission to tackle overcrowded prisons by Josh Winters, The Daily Illini (Illinois)

“Illinois’ prisons are overflowing – according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, they have been operating at 150 percent of their intended capacity, costing the state millions.”

Could Arizona save millions by reducing prison time? Maybe by Fernando Galvan, Eastern Arizona Courier

“California’s incarceration rate is among the highest in the nation, but what cost the state $10 billion in 2007 costs $8 billion today. State officials saved the $2 billion by reducing prison sentences for nonviolent felons, and residents have not seen any rise in recidivism rates. If Arizona reduced prison term for nonviolent felons, more than $160 million could be saved annually.”

Republican 2016ers Are Rethinking Tough on Crime by Michael Tanner, National Review

“It wasn’t so very long ago that every Republican running for higher office sounded as if he were really running for sheriff. “Tough on crime” was a slogan that never failed. Remember Willie Horton?”

How Prison Stints Replaced Study Hall by Jody Owens, Politico

“Police officers in Meridian, Mississippi, were spending so much time hauling handcuffed students from school to the local juvenile jail that they began describing themselves as ‘just a taxi service.'”

Florida Justices Reject 70-year Sentence for Juvenile, Likening It to Life Term by Erik Eckholm, The New York Times

“The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man who received 70 years in prison without parole for an attempted murder at the age of 14. The court agreed with lawyers for the defendant, Shimeek D. Gridine, that his sentence violated the limits on juvenile penalties set by the United States Supreme Court.”

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