Thursday, January 26, 2012

Utah High Court Says Objections To Religion At Voir Dire Are Procedurally Barred

In Taylor v. State of Utah, (UT Sup. Ct., Jan. 24, 2012), the Utah Supreme Court held that two claims alleging improper use of religion in voir dire during the penalty phase of a murder trial were procedurally barred from being raised because the objections could have been raised in a prior proceeding. Defendant Von Lester Taylor who was sentenced to death claimed that one juror should have been excused for cause because of his belief in the doctrine of blood atonement.  He also claimed that the prosecution wrongly used its peremptory strikes to reject jurors who were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. AP reports on the decision.