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Judge drops ruling allowing lawyers in death penalty case to talk with all county prosecutors


ST. GEORGE, Utah — A judge presiding over a St. George murder case has annulled his ruling that allowed defense attorney's to depose all of Utah's 29 county prosecutors, instead requiring more evidence before issuing a decision.

Attorneys for 34-year-old Brandon Perry Smith announced a plan last week to talk with all of the state's prosecutors in an effort to show capital punishment is unconstitutional.

Attorneys Gary Pendleton and Mary Corporan say that prosecutors seek the death penalty in less than 3 percent of eligible cases, resolving most with a life prison sentence.

The Spectrum reports (http://bit.ly/1ImGstK ) that Judge G. Michael Westfall amended his ruling Tuesday so that the defense must present more evidence.

Smith is accused of cutting 20-year-old Jerrica Christensen's throat at a St. George townhome in 2010.

Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com

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