Amidst challenges to the death penalty nationwide, Nevada is one of the U.S. states which still does have the death penalty on its books. Nevada uses lethal injection to kill people who are sentenced to death, although getting the drugs to carry out executions has become increasingly difficult throughout the United States. Nevada also has no real place to execute defendants right now, which poses a problem for the state when it comes to following through on sentences. Nevada has not actually executed someone since 2006, which means those who are sentenced to death in the state do not need to worry about an imminent risk of the penalty being carried out.
While Nevada may not execute people often, you still do not want to be found guilty of an offense and sentenced to death. You need to try to do everything possible to help make sure this does not happen, from the time of your first arrest or interaction with the police up until your involvement with the criminal justice system is at an end. LV Criminal Defense can be there to provide assistance at every phase, including understanding what happens after you’ve actually been sentenced to die for crimes.
When a sentence has been handed down, and especially a death sentence, there are due process rules to follow. Nevada Revised Statute 176.355 provides details on how a conviction and death penalty sentence should be treated under Nevada’s laws on criminal procedure.
According to the relevant law, the judgment of death must be inflicted by injecting a legal drug into the defendant. There are no other legal options. The law requires that a warrant be attached to a copy of the judgment for death and must detail the date when the death sentence should be carried out. The date has to fall between 60 and 90 days from the time of the judgement when the warrant is issued- which is part of what makes it difficult for Nevada to carry out executions.
The Director of Corrections has many practical responsibilities for executing a sentence of death. For example, N.R.S. 176.335 mandates that the Director has to choose the drug or combination of drugs to be used and the Director has to be present when the defendant is executed. The director also has to notify immediate family members of victims who asked to be informed of the scheduled date of the execution.
There is a specific time when the death sentence has to be executed. It has to be carried out within a week of the date designated by the court. Monday is considered the first day of the week, and Sunday is the last. As long as a stay of execution isn’t entered, the sentence can be carried out and the defendant put to death at any time of day during that week.
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The director has to invite a competent doctor, as well as a psychiatrist, the county coroner, and six “reputable” citizens who are aged 21 or over to be present at the execution. No one who is not invited by the Director can witness the execution and the Director gets to decide the maximum number of attendees. Family members of the victim should be given first preference if they wish to attend.
LV Criminal Defense represents defendants accused of serious crimes, including those that carry the death penalty or that could result in life imprisonment. If you need help when faced with any criminal charges or potential consequences, give us a call today to talk with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.