Craig Watson said he didn’t know if “closure” was the proper word.
But as he witnessed the 2010 execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner, who killed Watson’s cousin Melvyn J. Otterstrom at a bar in 1984, a feeling of peace came over him: It was, finally, over.
As Utah lawmakers weigh the cost of executing men like Gardner versus keeping them in prison for life, Watson asked them on Wednesday to remember there are some things that no amount of money can touch — a message also shared by Barbara Noriega, whose mother and sister were killed by another man now on Utah’s death row.
“With the death sentence, there are no recurring offenders and we can go on with our lives,” Watson said, his voice breaking at times as he addressed the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee.
Rod will take your phone calls about the value of the death penalty at 5:20pm.
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