Please call today to have these important Bills heard!

Please PRESS FOR A HEARING ON SB 279 (Independent Ombudsman)  and AB 401 (COURTS OF INQUIRY bill that would EXONERATE the Innocent). Please call your Legislators and/or Ira Hanson (see below) today to have these Bills heard.

SB279 – Extremely important for Human Rights (Independent Ombudsman) – PRESS FOR A HEARING ON THIS BILL!We need an independent Ombudsman in Nevada to go to for complaints about the many abuses people in Nevada’s prisons suffer. This would be an independent office, not run by NDOC.

And AB401:COURTS OF INQUIRY Bill to EXONERATE the Innocent.


Please call Ira Hansen, Assembly Judiciary Chairman’s office today: 775-684-8851,ask that they call his office and pass AB401.

See also ThinkProgress for an article about AB 401.

ACLU: Let’s be Smart on Crime

Submitted 04/11/2011

The death penalty is expensive. An increasing body of evidence shows that death penalty cases cost far more than cases seeking life in prison without parole, from trial preparation to execution. Seeking the death penalty automatically triggers heightened obligations for state-appointed defense attorneys. A recent review of the federal death penalty found that the median cost of a case in which the government seeks the death penalty is nearly eight times greater than similar cases where the death penalty was not sought.

By simply seeking the death penalty, the State significantly raises the stakes of a case – not only to the defendant, but to the taxpayers who foot the bill.

Nevada has no official studies of its own to confirm that the death penalty in fact is more expensive for the state. AB 501 authorizes such an in-depth study into the fiscal costs of the death penalty in Nevada and places a moratorium on executions through July 1, 2013 while the study is conducted.

We do know, however, that Nevada has expansive and often vague statutory language concerning the capital punishment. This opens the door to both costly litigation to pin down the meaning of these statutes and to prosecutors seeking the death penalty more often than they should. AB 460 aims to streamline and clarify Nevada’s death penalty laws and better allocate the limited resources of the criminal justice system.

Both of these bills will help the state focus money where it is most needed, and not on the costly, inefficient system of the death penalty.

Please send an email to your Assemblyperson now and urge them to support AB 460 and AB 501.

Sample Email in Support of AB 460 and AB 501

Dear Assemblyperson:

Like many Nevadans, I am concerned about the financial priorities of the state. I know that you have very hard choices ahead in deciding where to spend our limited resources and where to make cuts. There are no easy solutions, and like you, I want our state to focus its resources in the most thoughtful and meaningful ways. That is why I am strongly urging you to support AB460 and AB501.

AB501 will examine how much money we are spending on the death penalty over life in prison without the possibility of parole, and will impose a temporary moratorium on executions while the study is conducted. AB460 will clarify vague statory language about the death penalty, reducing the need for costly litigation over the laws and over-charging the death penalty.

Both AB460 and AB501 will save the state money – money that is desparately needed in other areas of the budget. We need to start being smart on crime, and can no longer afford to continue down such an expensive road.

Your Name
Your Address
Note by NPW: NPW supports at least the end of the death penalty and the end of Life without Parole sentences, as well as excessive sentencing.

LEGISLATURE 2011: Bill: Juveniles can’t face life without parole unless the crime is murder

Nevada Appeal, Feb 12, 2011

Legislation introduced in the Assembly Friday would prohibit sentencing a juvenile offender to life without parole unless the crime was homicide.

Existing law already prohibits the death sentence for a juvenile who commits a crime before age 18.

The reason for the legislation, according to the legislative counsel, is a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling life without parole unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.

In addition, the bill applies retroactively to any current Nevada inmates who were sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes committed before age 18.

The maximum sentence for a juvenile offender would be life with the possibility of parole.

Assembly Bill 134 was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

In addition, the Judiciary Committee introduced Assembly Bill 136, which allows criminals serving time for class B felonies to apply good time credits to reduce their minimum sentences. Inmates convicted of lesser felonies can already have their minimum sentences reduced by good time credits but that has been denied in the case of more serious and, particularly, violent crimes. Study committees made the recommendation noting that some B felonies aren’t crimes of violence.

The change would help relieve prison crowding by getting some of those inmates out of prison earlier.