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Central Idaho county withdraws from death penalty trial fund

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 3, 2018, 3:52 p.m.

HAILEY, Idaho – A central Idaho county is considering withdrawing from the state’s Capital Crimes Defense Fund, a move commissioners say is intended to stop local prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports Blaine County commissioners on Tuesday discussed withdrawing from the fund that helps cover the cost of lengthy and expensive trials where defendants are facing the death penalty. The rest of Idaho’s 44 counties participate in the fund, though others have considered withdrawing in the past. Participation in the fund also gives counties access to the State Appellate Public Defender’s office, which helps defray the cost of appeals in felony cases.

Commissioner Larry Schoen suggested the move, saying he doesn’t think capital punishment is appropriate given the imperfections in America’s judicial system.

Schoen says the commission could make a final decision on the matter next week.