CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Attorneys for Ralph Menzies file opposition of execution

Feb 7, 2024, 10:17 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 4:08 pm

Ralph Menzies...

FILE: Death row inmate Ralph Menzies attends 3rd District Court in West Jordan on Wednesday, Oct. 3. 2007. The state of Utah has canceled a hearing on the application for an execution warrant scheduled for Feb. 23, 2024, so that independent psychological testing can be conducted on Menzies. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)

SALT LAKE CITY – Ralph Menzies’ attorneys have filed an opposition to the Utah Attorney General’s request for an execution warrant. 

“Ralph Menzies’s brain has atrophied to the point that he does not understand why the State of Utah wants to kill him,” said Lindsey Layer, an attorney for Menzies. 

According to court documents, Menzies suffers from dementia. Following numerous falls in prison, he was given an MRI. It revealed severe atrophy in his brain. 

Court documents stated that Menzies suffers from “substantial deficits in Mr. Menzies’s learning, memory, information processing, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving.” Menzies’ attorneys have argued that his execution would be unconstitutional, citing the Eighth Amendment

Additionally, they said that his cognitive state impairs his ability to understand the reason for his execution. 

According to a press release, “the Salt Lake City District Attorney’s Office is engaged in a Conviction Integrity Unit review of the case.” 

The opposition says that no execution date should be set until the Conviction Integrity Unit’s review is complete, according to a press release. 

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Attorneys for Ralph Menzies file opposition of execution