By LINDSAY WHITEHURST and SAM METZ
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers rejected a proposal to abolish the state’s death penalty on Monday after an emotional hearing full of testimony from murder victims’ families. But the fact that the Republican-sponsored proposal fell only one vote short of passing out of a committee reflects the growing split among conservatives in Republican-led statehouses. Though repeal efforts have recently passed in Democratic-controlled legislatures. Republicans in red states such as Utah, Wyoming, Ohio, Kansas, Georgia and Kentucky are leading efforts to repeal the death penalty. They argue the practice runs counter to their conservative stances on the sanctity of life, fiscal responsibility and limited government.