Ron Lafferty has died; killer who was expected to be executed by firing squad dies at 78 ? cause of death natural causes


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SOURCE: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ron-lafferty-died-killer-expected-executed-firing-squad-dead-age-78-cause-of-death-natural-causes-2019-11-11/
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Summary

A Utah death-row inmate who killed his brother's wife and her toddler in 1984 because of his strong polygamist beliefs, in a case made famous by the book "Under the Banner of Heaven," has died of natural causes, prison officials said Monday. Ron Lafferty, 78, died at the state prison in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper, Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said in a statement.The state attorney general's office had predicted he would have been executed in 2020, becoming the first American executed by firing squad in nearly a decade, after a court rejected his latest his appeal in August. CBS affiliate KUTV reports Lafferty's legal team was in the process of appealing to the full 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when he died.Lafferty's case became well known after it was featured in Jon Krakauer's 2003 book about radical offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Krakauer also wrote "Into Thin Air" and "Into the Wild."Lafferty carried out the killings with his brother Dan, who received a life sentence. Ron Lafferty claimed he had received a revelation from God to kill Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, because of the sister-in-law's resistance to his fundamentalist belief in polygamy.The killings happened in American Fork, Utah, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. He was retried in 1996, found guilty by a jury and again sentenced to death.Ron Lafferty chose to be killed by firing squad decades ago instead of receiving a lethal injection, a choice given at the time to death row inmates. Lafferty's lawyers had argued that he suffered from mental illness and that his death sentence was out of line with the life sentence given to his brother.The mainstream, Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed polygamy more than a century ago, but some church offshoots still practice it and consider themselves "fundamentalist Mormons." Ron Lafferty was the eldest of eight children and raised in a Utah family that belonged to the mainstream church, according to court documents.For years, he followed the script for successful young church members: He served a church mission in Florida and then returned to Utah to get married, have children and get a job. She had agreed with the decision by Ron Lafferty's wife to leave him.Ron Lafferty believed he had received a revelation from God to kill Brenda Lafferty and her daughter and the brothers went to her apartment July 24, 1984. Ron Lafferty of Utah killed his brother's wife and her toddler in 1984 because of his strong polygamist beliefs Ron Lafferty of Utah killed his brother's wife and her toddler in 1984 because of his strong polygamist beliefs

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