Court denies petition of inmate who has been on Utah’s death row for 30 years


SALT LAKE CITY — A man who has been on Utah’s dying row for 30 years had his petition towards the state denied on Friday.

More than 15 years after it was first filed in federal courtroom, Decide Claire V. Eagan on Friday denied Ralph Leroy Menzies’ habeas corpus petition.

“The Structure was adopted and Utah’s legal justice system labored,” is what Andrew Peterson, who handled the attraction for the Utah Lawyer Common’s Workplace, stated was the takeaway from Friday’s determination.

The decide concluded in a prolonged one hundred fifty five-web page ruling that Menzies’ conviction and sentence didn’t violate the Structure, stated Peterson.

“It is a vital milestone that brings the case closer to conclusion,” he stated.

On Feb. 23, 1986, Menzies kidnapped Maurine Hunsaker from a convenience retailer in Kearns, took her to Storm Mountain in Massive Cottonwood Canyon, tied her to a tree, strangled her and slit her throat. He was convicted and sentenced to demise for the homicide in 1988. Menzies is eligible for execution by firing squad because his case is grandfathered beneath Utah’s previous regulation.

The Utah Supreme Courtroom upheld Menzies’ conviction and sentence in 1994. However Menzies filed a habeas corpus petition in 2003 claiming he had ineffective counsel.

Due to the type of petition Menzies filed, he isn’t entitled to routinely attraction every point to the tenth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals. A decide has to provide him permission. In this case, Peterson stated Eagan has allowed Menzies to attraction just 5 of the 43 issues he raised.

“The decide dramatically narrowed what Menzies can attraction,” he stated.

Although the proceedings in district courtroom began in 2003, Peterson stated the subsequent step within the process, ought to Menzies take it, is an attraction to the 10th Circuit Courtroom that would not take almost as lengthy.



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