U.S. Supreme Court rejects Utah death row case

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition by the Utah Attorney General’s Office to consider a death row case.

In an order issued Monday, the nation’s top court rejected the state’s appeal.

Troy Kell is on death row for the 1994 murder of Lonnie Blackmon inside the Utah State Prison in Gunnison. Kell is accused of stabbing Blackmon numerous times in a racially-motivated murder that was caught on camera. After the slaying, he walked around a cell block with blood on his arms screaming “white power.” Kell’s attorneys have argued the killing was self-defense.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office, complaining about the length of time it takes to execute someone, sought a petition arguing that some courts are contributing to the delays and they ought to have the ability to appeal a lower court’s determination. A number of states sided with the state of Utah.

Kell’s attorneys opposed it, arguing that the system (that was set up by states) is working as intended. After granting Kell a waiver on filing fees, the justices of the Court then issued a one sentence order rejecting the state’s petition for certiorari.

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