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Eye On Boise

Central Idaho county mulls withdrawal from death penalty trial fund

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — 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 discussed on Tuesday 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; but Schoen said Thursday that after further research, he's recommending staying in the fund while looking into other changes; the commission hasn't yet voted on a resolution.

NOTE: This item has been updated with additional information from Commissioner Larry Schoen.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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