SALT LAKE CITY -- Ruby Price's voice was clear and strong as she made her point standing at the entrance of the downtown courthouse.
"Thou shalt not kill" said Price, a 94-year-old Layton woman who quoted the bible again and again during her statement on Friday.
Wearing a black hat and studded jean jacket, Price said she knew the anguish of a violent loss -- her father died at the hands of a murderer in 1943.
Price's anti-death penalty statement came as a surprise to some leaders of the group Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (UTADP), who didn't know she was coming to their press conference.
UTADP is a statewide coalition of organizations and concerned individuals working to end capital punishment in Utah. Price, they discovered, is one of them.
"We believe 'Thou shalt not kill.' How can you believe nine commandments and leave one out?" railed the elderly woman, flashing moments of strength and conviction before sitting down in a chair to rest.
UTADP members want a moratorium on further executions in Utah while an independent commission studies capital punishment's flaws, which they say caused 134 countries and 15 states to abolish it in law or in practice.
The group, with members of various religions in attendance, called for the moratorium in the same courthouse where hours later condemned killer Ronnie Lee Gardner chose a firing squad as his method of execution.
Gardner was convicted of killing an attorney in 1985. He is scheduled to die from gunfire on June 18.