State v. Young

In State v. Young, 853 P.2d 327 (Utah 1993), a majority of the court upheld the state and federal constitutionality of Utah's death penalty statutes, id. at 337- 38, thus rejecting the defendant's claims that, among other things, Utah's death penalty scheme "constituted cruel and unusual punishment" and failed to "narrow the class of offenders eligible for the death penalty," id. at 336. The Court refused to give a jury instruction and charged the jury to base its verdict on the evidence produced in the penalty phase, not on sympathy or emotion. See id. at 362. The Court clearly held that while the federal constitution does not prohibit a "no mercy" instruction, neither does it require an instruction that the jurors should be guided by mercy or sympathy. See id. at 363.