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Utah death-row inmate asks for re-hearing of appeal

Ron Lafferty (left) and Ron Yengich, LaffertyÕs new defence attorney review the official notice proclaiming Yengich as Ron LaffertyÕs new attorney. At 4th District Court in Provo. Sept. 25, 2002. PHOTO BY STUART JOHNSON. (Submission date: 09/25/2002)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah death-row inmate whose double-murder case was featured in the book “Under the Banner of Heaven” is asking an appeals court to hear his case again.

The Deseret News reports the request for the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear Ron Lafferty’s case comes a month after a three-judge panel rejected the argument that he wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial in 1996.

After that decision, Utah officials said Lafferty could be months away from becoming the first American executed by firing squad in nearly a decade.

He chose that option when he was sentenced.

Lafferty was convicted in the 1984 deaths of his sister-in-law and her baby daughter. He claimed the killings carried out with his brother were directed by God because of the victim’s resistance to his beliefs in polygamy.

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com