Firing squad policies

Emily Hopkins filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Utah.


From: Emily Hopkins

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”), I hereby request the following records:

Any training documents or policies regarding the use of a firing squad in executing death row inmates.

As you may note, I have previously requested these documents. Unfortunately I was unable to complete an appeal in time so I am repeating my request with amendments.

My request was rejected because the document "is classified as protected pursuant to U.C.A. GRAMA §63G-2-305(11) & (13)," i.e., they are "records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual" and " (11) records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual." However, besides stating the law, there was not justification pertaining to this specific document. For example, there is no explanation as to why the entire document is being withheld and not subjected to partial redactions. Some of these policies have been widely reported, in fact.

I hope that you will consider this information as you consider this second request.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Emily Hopkins

From: Gina Proctor

Attached is the response to your second request for the same record.

Gina Proctor
Records Manager
801-545-5700 Phone
801-523-7524 FAX
Utah Department of Corrections

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information which may be confidential and/or legally privileged. If you
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From: Emily Hopkins

A copy of the following appeal has been sent to Mike Haddon, Deputy Director of the Utah Department of Corrections:

Mike Haddon
Deputy Director
Utah Department of Corrections
14717 South Minuteman Drive
Draper, UT 84020
Re: GRAMA Appeal

Dear Mr. Haddon:

This is an appeal under Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”).

On May 28, 2015, I requested documents under the Freedom of Information Act. On June 1, I received a rejection to my request in a letter signed by Gina Proctor. I appeal the denial of my request. A copy of my FOIA request and the agency determination which is the subject of this appeal is attached for your convenience.

Briefly, it the rejection to my request indicates that the records are being withheld because the policies contain sensitive information in regards to security and the functionality of correctional facilities. I request clarification on this point, especially considering the fact that other states disclose detailed execution policies online. (See: Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington).

With the transparency of other states in mind, I urge Utah to fulfill my request in releasing its firing squad procedures, and I amend my request to include the state’s death penalty procedures in its entirety.

Thank you for your commitment to government transparency and accountability, and for your quick response to this matter.


Emily Hopkins

From: Department of Corrections

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.