Utah death row inmate loses Mormon bias appeal

Tuesday , January 24, 2012 - 4:25 PM

Contributed

SALT LAKE CITY-- The Utah Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate who claims the jury selection process in his case unfairly favored Mormons.

The court issued a ruling Tuesday saying Von Lester Taylor should have raised the claim in earlier appeals and failed to prove that he could not.

Taylor's attorneys argued in June that the claim was grounds for overturning a lower court ruling that dismissed an earlier appeal.

Taylor was sentenced to die after pleading guilty to the murders of Beth Potts and her daughter Kaye Tiede during a break-in at a Summit County cabin in 1990. A co-defendant received a life sentence.

State attorneys contend the appeal is Taylor's third and is an attempt to delay execution.

A federal court appeal is also pending.

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