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  1. #21
    Chump change! Money is no object! "Moderation in the pursuit of Justice is no Virtue."
    Barry Goldwater 1964 RNC

  2. #22
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Governor vetoes chance to get death penalty's cost in Nevada

    How much does the death penalty cost in Nevada?

    Two years ago the state Legislature asked that question.

    But when it comes to the ultimate power of government, the power to kill a convicted criminal, one powerful lawmaker is not asking -- and stopped you from finding out -- how much it costs.

    Lawmakers voted for an audit, but Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed that proposal.

    A capital case costs more than one when the death penalty is not on the line.

    Lawyers: A capital defendant automatically gets two public defenders.

    A study by UNLV's Department of Criminal Justice shows the average death penalty case requires twice the hours of a non-capital case, which is about $212,000 more per case.

    Many capital cases go to the office of appointed counsel inside the government center, where private attorneys are paid $125 per hour.

    It currently has 31 open trial cases that cost an average of $240,000 each to defend, which totals $7.4 million. That doesn't even cover the lengthy, costly and mandatory appeal process.

    Clark County Public Defender Philip Kohn says millions could be saved by declining to pursue the death penalty.

    Housing: Most on death row are at ely state prison, where the average inmate housing cost is $23,360.

    The department of corrections does not have an average cost of death row inmates, but the death penalty information center estimates capital offenders are two to three times more expensive.

    Here's a breakdown of expenses for several states:

    Maryland: Five executions will cost $186 million.

    New Jersey: Taxpayers have spent $253 million over 12 years.

    California: If the governor were to commute the sentences of those on death row, the state would save $170 million per year.

    Tennessee: Death penalty trials cost an average of 48 percent more than those who seek life imprisonment.

    Between 1982 and 1997, the extra cost of capital trials across the country totaled $1.6 billion.

    State Sen. Tick Segerblom pushed to find out exactly how much the death penalty costs Nevada taxpayers, but the governor vetoed the audit, citing concern that the bill was too vague and the analysis would not be fair.

    The legislature could act Friday, which would be the last day to vote to override the governor's 2011 veto, but Segerblom says he doesn't expect that to happen. He may, however, re-introduce a bill that would call for an audit of the death penalty.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  3. #23
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Lawmaker seeks to clamp down on death row appeals in Nevada

    Nevada’s last execution was in April 2006 and there are now 82 inmates in death row.

    Some of their convictions date back to the 1980s as their cases are mired in the courts.

    Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, has introduced a bill to limit the petitions, which often are based on technicalities, including whether the attorney was competent in representing the accused at trial.

    Death sentences are automatically appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. If unsuccessful, the convict can file a writ of habeas corpus, challenging a conviction on other grounds.

    Senate Bill 214 says a prisoner may not file a second or successive petition unless he gets approval of the court. The state Attorney General’s Office or the District Attorney’s Office would have the opportunity to file an answer to reject the request of the prisoner.

    In asking for permission to bring second and successive writ, the prisoner must demonstrate “by clear and convincing evidence” that he or she is innocent of the crime or that he or she is ineligible for the death penalty.

    Gustavson’s bill also eliminates the requirements that the courts are required to appoint a lawyer on the first petition for a writ of habeas corpus. It would be up to the court’s discretion whether to select a lawyer for the inmate on the petitions for a such a writ.

    This would save money in the judicial system, Gustavson said.

    The bill also says the courts will not be required to stay the executions on the subsequent petitions for a writ of habeas corpus.

    Read more:
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #24
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Lawmakers question cost of new Nev. death chamber

    Nevada lawmakers questioned the need for a new execution chamber Wednesday after the state prison director conceded an execution could be carried out at the shuttered Nevada State Prison in Carson City if necessary.

    The testimony came during a budget hearing before a joint subcommittee on proposed capital improvement projects.

    The Department of Corrections is asking for $700,000 to convert part of a courtroom and visitation area at Ely State Prison in eastern Nevada to an execution chamber. The project is part of $30 million in repair and maintenance projects that the department is seeking.

    Corrections Director Greg Cox said having the death chamber in the same prison that houses Nevada's death row "simply makes sense operationally."

    Read more:
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I would hope that someday they realize that they are wasting money upholding the Death Penalty and I pray that in the near future, a Repeal Bill will be introduced to #AbolishTheDeathPenalty

  6. #26
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Panel rejects construction of a new Nevada execution chamber

    A panel of lawmakers decided Wednesday not to fund construction of a new $700,000 execution chamber at Ely State Prison.

    The decision was made by a joint Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee when it voted to approve a $104 million capital improvement program for the upcoming two-year budget that begins July 1.

    The vote was unanimous and there was no comment from lawmakers.

    In reviewing the project in past meetings, several lawmakers questioned the need for the new execution chamber, asking why the current facility at the now shuttered Nevada State Prison in the capital could not be used instead if an execution is scheduled in the next two years.

    Corrections Department Director Greg Cox said the current chamber, an old gas chamber that has been used for lethal injections, is not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Cox said in previous testimony that he would expect litigation to be filed challenging the use of the chamber if an execution was to go forward.

    There is no elevator access, so a disabled inmate facing execution would have to be carried to the “last night” cell across from the chamber.

    The viewing area is cramped and provides little room for official witnesses, media representatives, a religious leader, victims’ family members, attorneys and others who choose to or are required to attend executions.

    Cox said any new execution chamber probably would face litigation too but not to the degree the existing facility would see from the federal public defender’s office.

    But he acknowledged the old chamber could be used if necessary.

    Nevada’s 83-inmate death-row population is housed at Ely, 302 miles east of the capital.

    Cox said the project is needed to follow state law. Ely is an appropriate location because that is where the death row population is housed.

    The last execution, by lethal injection, occurred at Nevada State Prison on April 26, 2006, when Daryl Mack was put to death. Mack was executed for the rape and murder of a Reno woman, Betty Jane May, in 1988.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #27
    Jan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Death penalty audit clears Senate panel

    A bill requiring a study on the cost of the death penalty in Nevada has cleared a Senate committee on a party-line vote.

    The Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections endorsed AB444, with Republican Sens. James Settelmeyer of Minden and Barbara Cegavske of Las Vegas opposed.

    Democratic Assembly James Ohrenschall of Las Vegas is the prime sponsor of the bill. He says the goal is to give legislators a thorough analysis on how much it costs Nevada taxpayers to keep the death penalty. Backers of the bill note that condemned inmates typically remain on death row for decades as countless appeals wind through the courts.

    A similar bill was vetoed in 2011 by Republican Brian Sandoval, who said it lacked specifics to ensure the result would be fair.

  8. #28
    Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Slow executions could affect Nevada cases


    CARSON CITY — Messy executions in Arizona and Ohio that made national headlines could buoy efforts by death penalty opponents to stave off capital punishment for some 80 Nevada inmates awaiting execution.

    The cases could be used to pile on to the ever-growing number of legal challenges to capital punishment in the Silver State, adding the argument that the use of lethal injection should be considered a cruel and unusual form of punishment, said Clark County Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee.

    “If anything, we are going back to the Dark Ages,” Coffee said. “The guillotine is less cruel and unusual than what they have done in Arizona and Ohio as of late.”

    With Nevada already facing a plethora of legal challenges, it remains unclear whether the state has the ability to put someone to death if a warrant for execution is issued.

    Nevada’s execution chamber is at Nevada State Prison in Carson City, which was decommissioned in 2012. And it is unknown whether the state has up-to-date pharmaceuticals to perform a lethal injection execution.

    Assistant Federal Public Defender Michael Pescetta said he’s not sure how the state could conduct an execution if a warrant was issued. “Because Nevada has not had an execution since 2006, as far as we know, they don’t have any available drugs,” he said.

    Pescetta has sought that information through a public records act request but has received no response from the state. He said the public records request was filed some time ago, and his office plans to file another one within the next month.

    “If an execution warrant was issued now, I really have no idea what they would do,” he said.

    During the 2013 legislative session, Nevada Department of Corrections Director Greg Cox told the Legislature that the execution chamber at Nevada State Prison does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the agency would likely face a legal challenge if an attempt to use it was made.

    However, the agency recently told the Review-Journal that the execution chamber is being maintained in the event that a warrant for execution is issued.

    In the controversial Arizona execution on Wednesday and Ohio execution in January, both men took an unusually long time to die, gasping for air after they were injected with the drugs. Arizona and Ohio used the same drugs to carry out the executions, a combination of a sedative and a painkiller.

    “What has happened in Arizona and in Ohio, if it showed us anything, it’s the need for transparency in the meds we are using to kill people,” said Coffee, who represents defendants in capital murder cases. “What has happened is that people are so zealous to get the death penalty imposed that they have decided to cut off transparency.”

    He added that the pharmaceuticals that Nevada has on hand to perform an execution are likely outdated and “we would have to go to the same sorts of sources that Arizona went to.”

    Meanwhile, there are no executions of death row inmates on the horizon in Nevada.

    The state has executed 12 inmates since the death penalty was reauthorized in 1977. Eleven of those executed had voluntarily given up their right to an appeal.

    Death penalty proponents have complained that the lengthy appeals process involving state and federal courts have slowed Nevada’s ability to execute an inmate. The appeal process, in some cases, has carried on for decades. One example is Pat Mckenna, who was originally sentenced to death in 1980 but remains on death row at the Ely State Prison in eastern Nevada more than 30 years later.

    And now that lengthy appeal process, pushed by death row inmates and their lawyers, might also be used to halt executions.

    A recent decision by a federal judge found that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional because of lengthy and unpredictable delays in the state’s court system. The decision by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney noted the delays resulted in an arbitrary and unfair capital punishment system. The ruling is likely to be appealed.

    Death penalty opponents such as Coffee and Pescetta also point to the heavy financial cost as a reason to ban the practice.

    A 2012 study by Terance Miethe with UNLV’s criminal justice department found that defending the average capital murder case in Clark County cost $229,800 for a public defender and $287,250 for an appointed private counsel.

    Noncapital murder cases cost $60,100 for a public defender and $75,125 for an appointed private lawyer, the study found.

    And the county could save more than $15 million if the death penalty was removed as a possible punishment in murder cases, according to the study.

    The study also concluded that death sentences are infrequently imposed in Clark County capital cases. In nearly half of the cases in which prosecutors sought the death penalty, the defendants were sentenced to life without parole. Capital punishment was ordered in 14 percent of the cases reviewed by Miethe.

    But capital punishment remains the law in Nevada and should be sought in “the worst of the worst cases,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

    Wolfson said he is required to follow the law and to seek the death penalty when it is appropriate.

    He noted that his office seeks the death penalty in fewer cases than his predecessor, David Roger, who averaged filing a death penalty notice about 20 times annually in the five years prior to Wolfson taking office.

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