Undercurrent

NV one of 11 death penalty states not to use it for a decade or more

By: - August 13, 2018 3:14 pm
death chamber

Nevada’s execution chamber. (Nevada Department of Corrections photo)

death chamber
“By law, many items purchased for the (execution) chamber had to be very high quality such as the medical grade bed which cost approximately $70,000,” says the Nevada Department of Corrections, which provided this photo.

The fifteen states that have joined Nevada’s suit to let Nevada execute Scott Dozier, in what would be the first execution in Nevada since 2006, are predominantly states that have executed someone much more recently. The one exception — Nebraska — is scheduled to execute someone Tuesday.

Nine of the 15 – Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas — have carried out an execution in the last five years, according to a Pew Research analysis released last week. Only two other states have also killed someone in the last five years, Ohio and Virginia.

Of the other six states joining Nevada’s suit, five of them of them — Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah — executed someone in the last five to ten years.

The other state joining Nevada’s suit, Nebraska, has not carried out an execution since since 1997, although that 21-year hiatus is set to come to an end Tuesday with the scheduled execution of Carey Dean Moore. In circumstances similar to those that halted Nevada’s planned execution of Dozier last month, a German pharmaceutical company sued Nebraska because it didn’t want it’s drug used for lethal injection. Unlike a Nevada judge, however, a judge in Nebraska ruled against the company, which is reportedly not appealing the case, and the execution is scheduled to go forward.

Meantime, the Pew analysis finds that while there are 31 states that have the death penalty on the books, few of them use it regularly — and some not at all. New Hampshire, for instance, hasn’t executed anyone since 1939. And “one stark reflection of the longtime suspension of capital punishment in California is that executions now rank behind natural causes and suicide as the third most common cause of death for those on death row there,” according to the Pew analysis.

On the other end of the spectrum, between 2000 and 2017, 346 executions were carried out in Texas.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

MORE FROM AUTHOR