Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Death Penalty Process
In Nevada, there are more than 80 people on death row, but there is no place for defendants to actually be executed. Nevada also limits its method of execution to lethal injection, and obtaining the drugs for lethal injection has become very difficult. The practical problems with carrying out death sentences help to explain why the state of Nevada has not executed someone since April of 2006, despite the fact that the death penalty is still on the books in Nevada and despite the fact that there are still capital crimes for which death is a possible consequence.
Anyone who is accused of committing an offense for which death could be a penalty needs to ensure they are represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can effectively handle these high-stakes cases. LV Criminal Defense has the background, skill, and knowledge to represent defendants when there is a possible penalty that could include the end of life. We help you try to get charges reduced, secure an acquittal, or argue against a sentence of death.
We also provide assistance to those who have been subject to criminal proceedings where conviction carries the death penalty. We will help you to understand Nevada rules of procedure which apply in these situations and we will work hard to make certain that your rights are protected. Give us a call today to learn more.
Proceedings When Conviction Carries the Death Penalty
Death penalty cases are unique from other cases because the ultimate penalty is imposed. There are many special rules which apply under Nevada law in determining what happens in death penalty cases. Some of those rules apply to the procedural process that takes place in executing the judgment of death or in responding when a conviction occurs and the defendant is sentenced to death.
N.R.S. 176.345 is the law which establishes the requirements for the proceedings which must take place when conviction carries the death penalty. According to the relevant code section, a specific post-sentencing process has to be followed when someone has been sentenced to death. If a judgment of death is pronounced, a certified copy of the judgment of conviction has to be executed or created right away.
The clerk has to attest to the certified copy of the judgment, which must be prepared in triplicate and which the clerk must certify under the seal of the court. The certified copy of the judgment has to be attached to triplicate copies of a separate warrant, which a judge signs and which a clerk attests to under the seal of the court. This is different from the procedure for executing a judgment in other types of cases, such as when the penalty involves a sentence of imprisonment in state or county prison.
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What Does the Warrant Have to Contain?
The warrant which must be attached to the certified copy of a judgment for death must provide details on the fact of the conviction as well as details on the judgment. The warrant has to appoint a day in which the judgment will actually be executed. This is the day the sentence of death should be carried out, according to Nevada law. The day has to be at least 60 days but no more than 90 days from the time of the judgment.
The warrant also has to direct the sheriff to act upon the warrant by taking the defendant into custody and delivering him to an authorized person at the Department of Corrections who the Director of the Department has designated to receive the prisoner for execution.
Getting Legal Help
While it is unlikely executions will suddenly begin to occur in substantial numbers in Nevada any time soon, you still do not want to end up being sentenced to death. If you are accused of a capital crime or any serious offense, let a Las Vegas criminal attorney help you fight for your future. Call LV Criminal Defense today to find out more about the ways in which we can help.