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Bill to fix gap that rewarded 2 for new crimes after officer’s death heads to governor’s desk

SHARE Bill to fix gap that rewarded 2 for new crimes after officer’s death heads to governor’s desk
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Jenny Brotherson, mother of West Valley police officer Cody Brotherson, who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2016, speaks about HB67, sponsored by Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, right, before the House Judiciary Standing Committee at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal to close a gap in state law that has rewarded certain defendants for committing new crimes — including two who had a role in the 2016 death of West Valley police officer Cody Brotherson — has now passed the Utah Legislature.

The state Senate voted unanimously and without debate Thursday to send HB67 to Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk for final approval.

The measure from Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, ensures a juvenile detention facility can continue to hold a defendant even after a conviction in the adult system. Previously, new cases have led to shorter sentences in prison or jail than the defendant would have served in the juvenile system, which can keep a youth in detention until age 21.

That was the case for Christopher and Lawrence Boggs, who ironically walked free over the summer after they were convicted of carrying out new crimes while in juvenile detention.

Jenny Brotherson, the mother of the officer killed at 25 years old, urged lawmakers to pass the measure. She said it would help keep the public safe and limit the chances that other families will have to endure the sadness and loss that hers has.

The bill also has the support of the Utah Sentencing Commission, which said it would allow for better coordination between parole authorities in the juvenile and adult systems.