Entries tagged with “Ralph Menzies

Jan 29, 2024

Lawyers for 65-Year-Old Prisoner with Vascular Dementia Say He is Incompetent to be Executed Days After Utah Requests Execution Date and Use of Firing Squad

On January 23, 2024, attor­neys for Utah death-sen­tenced pris­on­er Ralph Menzies, who has been diag­nosed with a major neu­rocog­ni­tive dis­or­der known as vas­cu­lar demen­tia, filed a peti­tion in state court alleg­ing he is incom­pe­tent to be exe­cut­ed. Mr. Menzies, who uses a walk­er to nav­i­gate the pris­ons, has been on Utah’s death row for near­ly 36 years. On January 17, 2024, Utah’s attor­ney general’s office filed a motion with courts to set an exe­cu­tion date for him and indi­cat­ed it will use the fir­ing squad. 

Feb 14, 2024

Utah Court Rules Prisoner Suffering from Dementia Requires a Competency Assessment Following the State’s Request for Execution

On February 13, 2024, the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City, Utah ruled that evi­dence pre­sent­ed by Ralph Menzies’ attor­neys of his demen­tia and cog­ni­tive decline requires a for­mal assess­ment of his com­pe­ten­cy to face exe­cu­tion by fir­ing squad. With its deci­sion, the court also vacat­ed a hear­ing sched­uled for February 23, at which the state of Utah intend­ed to request an exe­cu­tion war­rant for Mr. Menzies. As explained in his request for a com­pe­ten­cy hear­ing, Mr. Menzies has been diag­nosed with a major neu­rocog­ni­tive dis­or­der known as vascular…

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Lethal Injection

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Jan 04, 2024

Utah Judge Clears the Way for Use of the Firing Squad

On December 22, 2023, Judge Coral Sanchez of Utah’s Third Circuit Court dis­missed a law­suit brought by five men on the state’s death row that chal­lenged Utah’s two exe­cu­tion meth­ods and pro­to­cols. Ralph Menzies, Troy Kell, Michael Archuleta, Douglas Carter, and Taberon Honie sought an order vacat­ing Utah’s cur­rent exe­cu­tion pro­to­cols for lethal injec­tion and fir­ing squad and enjoin­ing their future use. The pris­on­ers argue that both meth­ods con­sti­tute cru­el and unusu­al pun­ish­ment under the Eighth Amendment. In her deci­sion to dis­miss their law­suit, Judge Sanchez wrote that the plain­tiffs…

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Lethal Injection

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Nov 08, 2023

Utah Judge Hears Argument in Prisoners’ Lawsuit Against Execution Protocol

On October 26, 2023, Judge Coral Sanchez of Utah’s Third Circuit Court heard argu­ments in a law­suit filed by five death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers against the State in April. Ralph Menzies, Troy Kell, Michael Archuleta, Douglas Carter, and Taberon Honie seek an order vacat­ing Utah’s cur­rent exe­cu­tion pro­to­col and enjoin­ing its use. The law­suit argues that the State’s two-pronged pro­to­col, with lethal injec­tion as the default method of exe­cu­tion and fir­ing squad as a back­up, con­sti­tutes cru­el and unusu­al pun­ish­ment in both meth­ods and is there­fore uncon­sti­tu­tion­al under the Eighth Amendment. At…