(KUTV) A Utah lawmaker is once again targeting the death penalty.
Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clearfield), well known for bringing the firing squad back to Utah, says inmates sit on death row too long.
He wants them to die quicker.
"If you're sentenced to die, you're going to die for doing that," Ray said.
The Republican plans to look for ways to shorten the process, holding up two states -- Virginia and Texas -- as examples.
"Typically, seven to ten years is how long somebody's on death row" in those states, Ray said. "We may look at putting in some of the measures that they have to expedite the time on death row."
Utah has nine inmates on death row. All but one have remained there more than 15 years.
Every time Ray touches the death penalty on Utah's Capitol Hill, it ignites a political firestorm. That will be the case this time as well.
"I don't understand his fascination with the death penalty," said Kent Hart, executive director of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Hart says Ray's latest effort is contrary to Utah values.
"If that process is shortened, Utah would be joining other states like Virginia and Texas who I don't think value human life like Utah does," Hart said.
Ray says he expects opposition, but he still plans to bring this issue to Capitol Hill on Wednesday in the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. After studying it, Ray hopes to draft a bill later this fall.
Last session the Utah Senate passed a bill that would get rid of the death penalty, but that bill failed in the House.