UTAH – Death row inmate loses appeal on Provo murder conviction – DOUGLAS CARTER

October 9, 2012 http://www.heraldextra.com

SALT LAKE CITY — A convicted killer who stabbed and shot a Provo woman in 1985 moved one step closer to death on Friday after the Utah Supreme Court denied his appeal.

In a 14-page ruling, the supreme court rejected Douglas Carter’s claim that he was ineffectively assisted by his attorneys. Carter was convicted of killing 57-year-old Eva Oleson in 1985.He was sentenced to death, and the court’s ruling means his sentence is affirmed.

According to the ruling, Carter has been appealing his conviction and sentence since the 1980s. Court documents state that in 1989 his conviction was upheld but his sentence was canceled due to an erroneous jury instruction. However, in 1992 Carter was again sentenced to death and in 1995 the supreme court upheld the sentence.

Carter continued his appeals through the 2000s. He made a series of different claims, but citing extensive case law the supreme court ruled that only his assertion of ineffective assistance of counsel could be reviewed. The claim means Carter believes his attorneys failed to adequately perform their duties.

According to the documents, Carter believes his post-conviction attorneys didn’t consult with investigators and experts. He also reportedly believes there is mitigating evidence in the case, but said his attorneys never examined that evidence. In addition, Carter has claimed that police and forensic reports “cast real doubt on his guilt.”

But according to the decision, Carter failed to demonstrate that his attorneys were inadequate. The supreme court further notes that merely claiming ineffective assistance of counsel isn’t enough to win an appeal.

The ruling means Carter will continue toward execution.

Carter appeared recently before a Provo judge in December. At a hearing, Teresa Oleson testified that her mother-in-law, Eva, was midway through knitting a sweater when Carter tied her up and killed her. Teresa said Carter stabbed Eva in the back, among other things. She also pleaded with the court to move forward with the case, saying her family has been unable to experience closure for more than two decades.

Attorneys working on the case did not return calls seeking comment on Monday.

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