SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Sharon Wright Weeks was fifteen years old when her older sister and niece were murdered.

She’s now in her fifties and the justice they were promised by the state, the execution of the man who committed the murders, never occurred.

In 1984, Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter were found dead in their American Fork home.

“Brenda was only 24-years-old,” Weeks said in a webinar recently sponsored by the Catholic Mobilizing Network. “She wasn’t very old and Erika was 15-months when they were murdered.”

When police arrived they found Brenda and her daughter with their throats slashed.

“My sister and niece were murdered by two men who were family members,” Weeks told her audience. “They were my sister’s brothers-in-law.

A year later, Ron Lafferty received the death penalty, but there were numerous appeals including a second trial.

His brother, Dan, received two life sentences and still remains in prison. The brothers were religious fanatics and claimed to be following the word of God.

“The man who was on death row for 33 years died from natural causes,” Weeks said. “It was almost a relief when he did.”

Weeks refuses to mention his name and give him any notoriety.

Over time, Brenda Lafferty’s family became disillusioned over what justice was.

For them, waiting for Lafferty’s execution was emotionally draining.

“It eclipsed everything in my life,” she said. “It is such a burden that it never leaves and it’s always there for decades.”

For the past two years, Weeks has been on a mission to end the death penalty in Utah. The state is one of 27 states that still impose the death penalty. Lawmakers in Utah have refused to abolish it. She’ll try it again in 2022 and the bill has already been introduced.

During the webinar sponsored by the Catholic Mobilizing Network, the former prosecutor who helped convict the Laffertys in the 1980s, had a change of heart.

Creighton Horton, who has since retired, said the death penalty is a burden on families for families.

“For decades you’ll (families of victims) live with uncertainty,” said Horton. “You will live with anxiety. You will lack the ability to move on because there will be no closure and you will be shackled to the person who killed your loved one.”

Currently, there are seven inmates on death row in Utah. The last to die was Ronnie Lee Gardner who was executed by a firing squad in 2010.

One of those currently on death row is Michael Archuleta. He murdered Gordon Ray Church in 1988. Church was a gay man and was attending Southern Utah University.

Kevin Church, a brother, texted ABC4 and said he’s “pro death penalty. It’s a bargaining chip for the prosecution.”

But he also said he preferred “life in prison without parole” because “I would never want to go through this death penalty BS.”

Brenda’s family wants it completely abolished and also preferred life without parole.

“It has literally been my entire adult life,” Weeks said. “I didn’t want it to be part of me, part of my life. I didn’t want it anymore. Not for me, not part of my life.”

House Bill 147 was introduced last week by its house sponsor V. Lowry Snow. It will now go before the House Rules Committee but no date has been set for a public hearing.