UTAH (USA): LAWMAKER ENDS PUSH TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
March 11, 2016: A Republican lawmaker who shepherded a longshot push to abolish the death penalty in conservative Utah said Thursday night he was abandoning the effort, saying he didn't have enough time or votes to pass the measure before a midnight deadline.
"We're done for the year," Sen. Steve Urquhart told The Associated Press.
Urquhart said that he believed he came close to getting enough support, but there were enough lawmakers on the fence in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives that the debate would have taken hours and irritated legislators. "When you're ticking people off with your legislation, they don't come your way," he said.
Urquhart said he had considered a last-minute push for a moratorium instead, but there wasn't enough support. The legislative session ends at midnight. The measure was originally believed to meet quick roadblocks in Utah's GOP-dominated Legislature, but it cleared the Senate and then squeaked through a House committee this week. Even if it passed, the measure faced an uncertain future with Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who supports capital punishment in extreme cases but wouldn't say if he would veto the measure. (Source: Associated Press, morningjournalnews.com, 11/03/2016)