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Defendant was intoxicated and asked Carol to join him at the home of his girlfriend at the time, Shilo John. While not objected to by the defense, the court notes that such a comparison is impermissible under the statute and case law, and was not undertaken by the court in reaching its decision. Lafferty, "proportionality review is not required under the federal constitution or under our state constitution. The version of section applicable to defendant outlines what evidence, including aggravating and mitigating factors, may be presented in a sentencing proceeding. The aggravated murder provision requires that the common felonies be committed intentionally or knowingly, while the felony murder provision, on the other hand, requires only that a homicide occur in conjunction with the commission, attempt, or flight from the commission or attempt of one of the common felonies. Regardless of whether one agrees with the legislature's categorization of conduct eligible for aggravated murder, the crime of aggravated murder is eligible for the death penalty. The State also argues that whether the victim was alive when defendant committed the sexual aggravating factors is irrelevant. That said, in imposing sentence the sentencing judge did not consider these comments or defendant's ethnicity as a factor. We remain unconvinced that the statutory scheme encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.

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An error is harmful if it is such that absent the error, there is a sufficiently high likelihood of a different outcome, undermining our confidence in the result. The aggravating factor that defendant claims unconstitutionally overlaps with the felony murder statute reads: As a result, we review under the manifest and prejudicial error standard, but recognize the need to grant a certain measure of discretion to the trial judge. Defendant had cut the victim's neck from ear to ear. Nevertheless, in so doing, "we do not abrogate a defendant's obligation or assume the role of an advocate by researching all applicable law and searching the entire record for each and every indication of possible or potential error. Neal, Utah 93, P. Defendant confessed to using a rock to break the door and enter the house. However, an individual convicted of aggravated murder and an individual convicted of felony murder are not similarly situated. Poulson, 14 Utah 2d , P. The first part of the statute reads, " 1 Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated murder if the actor intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another under any of the following circumstances. Where a defendant both kills and sexually assaults a victim in a single, continuous act, or in a series of closely related acts, and where the express elements of the sexual offense are met--including compelling the victim to submit against her will through the application of force, albeit deadly--the fact that the victim may have died moments before the sexual contact does not reduce the defendant's conduct to the relatively minor offense of desecration of a corpse. This evidence is clearly sufficient to satisfy the murder element of the aggravated murder conviction. This comports with the more widely accepted understanding regarding felony murder, that while the intent to cause the homicide is not a requirement, i. In this case, defendant has offered no indication that he was treated any differently than another person of a different race or ethnicity in similar circumstances. It was defendant's witness who testified regarding defendant's sexual abuse of the victim's granddaughter at the crime scene. This information need not have been admitted into evidence or proven beyond a reasonable doubt during the guilt phase. Two of the three children had some blood on them, and the other child, D. Stephens, a death sentence supported by multiple aggravating circumstances need not always be set aside if one aggravating factor is invalid. Defendant stabbed the victim in the vagina at least three times. Subsection 2 b reads, in relevant part, "Any evidence the court considers to have probative force may be received regardless of its admissibility under the exclusionary rules of evidence. Even further, in his second supplemental brief, defendant contends the alleged statutory overlap violates article I, section 24 of the Utah Constitution, the provision requiring "all laws of a general nature [to] have uniform operation. The State also argues that whether the victim was alive when defendant committed the sexual aggravating factors is irrelevant. While the statement complained about by the defendant reflects the prosecutor's insensitivity, it does not evidence that the trial judge invidiously discriminated against members of the Hopi Tribe in sentencing defendant. Blood was also smeared on closet doors. Defendant also severed the perineum, the band of tissue between the back wall of the vagina and the front wall of the anus. Consequently, "[w]e have repeatedly considered and upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty scheme [in Utah], holding that it allows neither too much prosecutorial discretion nor unguided prosecutorial discretion in determining to seek the death penalty. Before the trial court the defendant challenged the constitutionality of Utah's Death Penalty scheme as 1 violative of the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment and because it allegedly shifts the burden of proof to the defendant; 2 violative of due process and equal protection because it serves no compelling state interest and because it fails to narrow the class of persons eligible for the death penalty; 3 violative of article I, section 7, and article I, section 9, of the Utah Constitution; and 4 violative of his "right to a fair sentencing hearing.

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30.01.2018 at 10:12 pm
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