Judge says Utah death row inmate Ron lafferty competent

Friday , February 28, 2014 - 12:19 PM

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah death row inmate convicted of killing a sister-in-law and her baby nearly three decades ago has been found competent to participate in a federal appeals process.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson says 71-year-old Ron Lafferty does not suffer from a mental illness despite his belief that ghosts are tormenting him.

Thursday’s ruling means Lafferty’s federal appeals, on hold for four years, can resume.

Lafferty is trying to stop his execution for the 1984 killings. He claims he had a revelation that sanctioned the slayings because his brother’s wife was resisting his beliefs in polygamy.

Another brother, Dan Lafferty, is serving a life sentence for the stabbing of their sister-in-law, Brenda Lafferty, and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica.

Ron Lafferty has chosen to die by firing squad instead of lethal injection.

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