A Nevada Defense Lawyer Explains Pregnancy & the Death Penalty
When someone is sentenced to death, there are certain reasons for a stay of execution. A stay of execution means that the state of Nevada does not move forward with the execution process. One of the reasons why a stay of execution may be granted is if the person who has been sentenced to death is pregnant. A person who is pregnant will not be put to death, because it is necessary to preserve the life of the child.
There are specific procedures which have to be followed in Nevada if a person has been sentenced to death and there is a reason to suspect pregnancy. Understanding these rules is just one of many things that is important for someone who is facing a death sentence. Knowing the Nevada procedural rules throughout a capital case is important to try to look for every opportunity to save your life, and you should have an experienced legal professional providing you with assistance and advice.
Not every Las Vegas defense attorney has the experience to represent defendants in death penalty cases, but LV Criminal Defense is here to help. We assist you at all phases of your case, from the time you are first accused of committing a serious offense up through the end of your case after you are sentenced and we help with appeals or arguing for a stay of execution. Give us a call today to find out more.
Investigation of Pregnancy in Death Penalty Cases
Nevada Revised Statute 176.465 provides details on what happens when a person who has been sentenced to death is believed to be carrying a child. According to the relevant law, it is the director of the Department of Corrections who should take action. The Director who the female death row inmate was delivered to for execution should petition a judge in the district court of the county where the prison is located. The submitted petition must be in writing and must clearly make an allegation that the defendant is pregnant.
The court has to respond to the petition by scheduling a hearing and by summoning a jury made up Procedure When Jury Unable To Reach Unanimous Verdict of three doctors who will acquire into the alleged pregnancy. Immediate notice of the hearing has to be provided to the District Attorney and Attorney General in the county where the defendant had been convicted of a crime and sentenced to death. If the execution would normally take place before this hearing, the court has to issue a stay of execution. This suspends the process so the execution does not move forward until a determination is made on pregnancy.
At the hearing to determine pregnancy, the three physicians who were appointed by the court have to provide written verification of their findings on whether the defendant is pregnant or not. If it is found that the female defendant is not pregnant, the execution of judgment of death must forward. If a stay had been issued, the judge needs to follow the proper procedure for a new warrant to be issued.
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If the female defendant is found to be pregnant, the judge will enter an order staying judgment of the execution until she is not pregnant any longer. When the female defendant is no longer pregnant, the Director has to provide notice of this fact and the stay of execution will be vacated.
Getting Help from a Las Vegas Defense Lawyer
While executions in Nevada occur rarely, a conviction for a crime that carries a death sentence is still devastating. LV Criminal Defense works hard to help you try to avoid such a conviction. Our legal team also offers you advice on all of your options for trying to delay an execution or get the sentence overturned. Give us a call today to find out more about how a Las Vegas defense attorney can help in death penalty cases.