Nevada State Assembly Passes Bill to Repeal Death Penalty and Resentence Death-Row Prisoners to Life

April 21, 2021  The Nevada State Assembly has passed a bill that would abolish the state’s death penalty and resentence the prisoners currently on its death row to life without parole. It was the first time any death-penalty abolition bill had been reported out of committee and considered by either house of the Nevada legislature. AB 395 passed the Assembly on April 13, 2021 by a vote of 26-16, with all Democrats supporting the measure and all Republicans opposing it. The bill advances to the state senate, where it faces uncertain prospects. SB 228, a less expansive bill that would have repealed the death penalty for future offenses but left it in place the death sentences of those already on death row, failed when the Senate Judiciary Committee took no action on it before the deadline for committee passage during the 2021 legislative session. During argument on the Assembly floor, the bill’s sponsor, Las Vegas Assemblyman Steve Yeager, told his fellow legislators that “[n]ow is the right time to end our costly ineffective and inhumane death penalty.” “Nevada should join two thirds of the world’s countries who have already banned the death penalty, many of whom have determined that it violates fundamental human rights,” he said. “The government simply should not be in the business of death.” If Nevada abolishes the death penalty, it will be the 24th state to do so, and the second this year. Virginia abolished the death penalty in March, following Colorado’s repeal of its death penalty in 2020 and New Hampshire’s abolition in 2019. Read more




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