Jeff Gray to bring back death penalty after becoming presumptive next Utah County Attorney

Jun 29, 2022, 2:45 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm

Jeff Gray is pictured. Photo credit: Jeff Gray Campaign Facebook page....

Jeff Gray is pictured. Photo credit: Jeff Gray Campaign Facebook page.

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — It’s all but certain that Jeff Gray will become the next Utah County Attorney, having more than 70% of the primary vote over incumbent David Leavitt as of Wednesday morning.

Add to that, Gray does not have a Democratic opponent in the general election, so it’s highly likely he’ll become the Utah County Attorney come January 2023.

And in his first move, Gray told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic, that he plans to bring back the death penalty.

“I will absolutely bring back the death penalty,” Gray said. “The residents of Utah, the citizens of Utah, have made known their desires, and they see fit to have the death penalty. And I believe that it’s a violation of Mr. Leavitt’s oath to uphold the law when he says he will never pursue the death penalty.”

Gray’s move would be in stark contrast to Leavitt’s 2021 announcement that he would no longer seek the death penalty.

Gray said he doesn’t fault Leavitt for going to the legislature and seeking its repeal.

“That’s his right as a citizen, but as a prosecutor, his obligation is to uphold the law. And when he says that he will never pursue it, that a violation of that duty,”

Leavitt also spoke to Dave & Dujanovic about his loss. The people, he said, clearly chose which criminal justice policies they support.

“My effort all along has been to return more power to people, through juries, and less power to prosecutors and police,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt’s recent controversies

Gray said he doesn’t think Leavitt’s recent negative publicity helped him win. He attributes his success to voters rejecting Leavitt’s policies.

Leavitt however, does think the recent headlines and accusations have hurt him.

“We’re dealing with a citizenry that will embrace them [lies] and believe them.”

But, Leavitt said, while he won’t change his policies, he will spend the next six months setting Gray up as best as possible for his administration.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

A man holds a passport in front of a world map. Expansions of passport services are on their way ac...

Kyle Remund

Salt Lake City to get a passport agency

Currently, Utahns have to travel out of state to reach a passport agency. That is set to change with the announcement of an agency in SLC.

6 hours ago

People outside the Supreme Court, supporting the DACA program. A Utah immigration attorney said Bid...

Aimee Cobabe and Emma Keddington

Utah immigration attorney breaks down Biden’s executive action aimed to help immigrants

Local immigration attorney Carlos Trujillo said these changes will impact thousands of people here in Utah.

14 hours ago

A small group gathered outside the committee room to protest agains HB261 prior to Senate members o...

Josuee Sanchez

Complaint hotline for DEI law already receiving false complaints

The DEI law hotline has received 27 false complaints in the last week, but that's far less than a hotline associated with a bathroom bill received.

17 hours ago

Mail-in ballots being sorted...

Don Brinkerhoff

Nonprofit working to build trust in Utah elections

Trust Utah Elections, a new nonprofit, is working to help Utahns have confidence in the state's election process.

24 hours ago

File photo of a Utah elementary school. The School Safety Security Task Force met Monday, June 17, ...

Briana Chavez

School Safety Security Task Force discuss new requirements for schools as part of new bill

One of the biggest requirements includes a school safety needs assessment. Each school in the state must fill one out.

2 days ago

drivers memorial day...

Curt Gresseth

Is it time for Utah to bring back photo cop to bust speeders?

A Utah lawmaker joins the show to discuss a possible return of photo radar to bust speeders.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Jeff Gray to bring back death penalty after becoming presumptive next Utah County Attorney