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Procedures Followed When a Death Sentence is Commuted in Nevada

NRS 213.080 – Summary of the Procedures Followed When a Death Sentence is Commuted in Nevada

If you are facing a death penalty or life imprisonment, you can have commutation by applying for a chance to Nevada pardons Board. For your application to go through, it has to satisfy the Board by first exhausting all defendants’ qualification before getting considered for commutation.

Definition of “Commutation” under Nevada Law

According to NRS 213.080, it is a reduction of death sentence to life imprisonment or if you were serving a sentence of 20 years in prison, commutation may be given for 15 years instead. Commutation is given by the State Board of Pardons Commissioners to defendants, who have sent their applications to the Board, to see whether they will be considered for reduction (commutation).

The process of commutation is not different from that of clemency. The Board (SBPC) has to organize a meeting to check the application sent by defendants looking for commutation. Members of the Board include Governor, Attorney General, and seven Justices of Nevada Supreme court, pursuant to NRS 213.010. For a defendant’s application to be accepted, the majority of members have to vote, and the Governor should be one of them.

Pursuant of NRS 213.020, defendants seeking to have their sentence commuted have to submit their request to the Board in agreement with the processes established by the Secretary pursuant to NRS 213.017.

What Is Included in a Death Penalty Commutation

According to NRS 213.080, when a criminal defendant has been sentenced to death and that sentence has been commuted, an official document will be created that contains the following information:

  • Defendant’s name;
  • Time and court that entered the conviction into the public record;
  • The amount charged, type and the character of the substituted sentence as an alternative of the death penalty; and
  • Where the alternative sentence substituted will be served.

This written statement for the defendant whose application has successfully been granted, commutation is presented to an Officer or an authority charged to be responsible in executing sentence that was given as an alternative to the death penalty. You can see the whole reading of the specific statute below.

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  1. The statement shall be directed to the proper officer or authority charged by law with the safekeeping and execution of the punishment. The statement, attested with the Great Seal of this state, shall be sufficient authority for such officer or authority to receive and retain the person named in the statement as therein directed, and the officer or authority named in the statement must receive the person whose punishment has been commuted, and retain the person as directed.

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