Bill to impose death penalty moratorium dies

From Las Vegas Sun:

CARSON CITY – A bill that would have imposed a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty is now dead itself.

Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, introduced Assembly Bill 190 on Feb. 18 calling for a study of the costs of capital punishment cases compared to non-death penalty cases. It included a section that there would not be any executions until July 1, 2011, while the study was conducted.

The Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections tabled the bill Saturday after an impassioned speech by Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, a former district attorney.

Raggio said this study bill “is a forerunner of doing away with capital punishment.” He said he knew of “several cases where the offender did not kill because of the death penalty.”

Raggio was district attorney in Washoe County and prosecuted several death penalty cases.

The moratorium on executions was removed from the bill in the Assembly.

Sen. Bernice Mathews, D-Reno, said in this year of tight money, it seems that anybody could look up these costs. And she said that once completed the study “sits on the shelf, nobody looks at it.”

“The information is already out there,” she said.

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, said he would work with North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Stephen Dahl on the study. And Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, said that while he has respect for Judge Dahl, he agrees with Raggio.

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