Capital punishment in Nevada
Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment in the U.S. state of Nevada. The first recorded execution in the area that is now Nevada was the hanging of John Carr for murdering Bernhard Cherry of Carson City on November 30, 1860 and the first record execution in the Nevada Territory was the hanging of Allen Milstead outside Dayton for killing Lyon County Commissioner T. Varney at Ragtown. These were the first of 60 executions from 1860 to the present. Since 1976, 12 people have been executed by the state. As of May 12, 2013 there were 83 people on Death Row.
Elizabeth Potts, who was hanged in 1890, was the only woman legally executed in the state.
- Process 1
- Method 2
- Capital offenses 3
- List of individuals executed between 1861 and 1903 4
- 1903–1921: Individuals executed at the state capital (Carson City) and type of execution 5
- 1921–1976: Nevada State Prison gas chamber 6
- List of individuals executed after 1976 7
- See also 8
- References 9
- External links 10
The jury decides the sentence in a capital cases. It decides if aggravating and mitigating circumstances raised by the prosecution and defense are true. If aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances, the sentences that could be made include death, life imprisonment without parole, life imprisonment with parole in twenty years at a minimum or imprisonment for fifty years with parole in twenty years at a minimum. The amount of aggravating circumstances and the amount of mitigating circumstances equal, if no mitigating or aggravating circumstances exist or mitigating circumstances outweigh aggravating circumstances, the sentences that could be made include death, life imprisonment without parole, life imprisonment with parole in twenty years at a minimum or imprisonment for fifty years with parole in twenty years at a minimum. The Governor of Nevada sits on a board that determines clemency.
As in any other state, people who are under 18 at the time of commission of the capital crime or mentally retarded are constitutionally precluded from being executed.
Hanging was the method prescribed by law from 1860 to 1921. The venue of executions moved from the counties to Nevada State Prison in 1903. In response to Mormon preferences, the Nevada State Legislature passed a statute in 1910 that became effective in January 1911, allowing condemned prisoners to choose between execution by shooting or hanging. On May 14, 1913, Andriza Mircovich became the only inmate in Nevada to be executed by shooting. After the warden of Nevada State Prison was unable to find five men to form a firing squad, a shooting machine was built to carry out Mircovich's execution. A law in 1921 replaced hanging with the gas chamber, which was used from the 1924 execution of Gee Jon to the 1979 execution of Jesse Bishop, both at Nevada State Prison. Lethal injection remains the sole method of execution in Nevada.
The men's 
First Degree Murder
- Murder perpetrated by means of poison, lying in wait or torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing.
- Murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, invasion of the home, sexual abuse of a child, sexual molestation of a child under the age of 14 years or child abuse.
- Murder committed to avoid or prevent the lawful arrest of any person by a peace officer or to effect the escape of any person from legal custody.
- Murder committed on the property of a public or private school, at an activity sponsored by a public or private school or on a school bus while the bus was engaged in its official duties by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person.
- Murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an act of terrorism.
When these aggravating factors exist:
- The murder was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment.
The murder was committed by a person who, at any time before a penalty hearing is conducted for the murder pursuant to NRS 175.552, is or has been convicted of:
- Another murder and the provisions of subsection 12 do not otherwise apply to that other murder; or
- A felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person of another and the provisions of subsection 4 do not otherwise apply to that felony.
- The murder was committed by a person who knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action which would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person.
The murder was committed while the person was engaged, alone or with others, in the commission of, or an attempt to commit or flight after committing or attempting to commit, any robbery, arson in the first degree, burglary, invasion of the home or kidnapping in the first degree, and the person charged:
- Killed or attempted to kill the person murdered; or
- Knew or had reason to know that life would be taken or lethal force used.
- The murder was committed to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest or to effect an escape from custody.
- The murder was committed by a person, for himself or another, to receive money or any other thing of monetary value.
The murder was committed upon a peace officer or firefighter who was killed while engaged in the performance of his official duty or because of an act performed in his official capacity, and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was a peace officer or firefighter. For the purposes of this subsection, "peace officer" means:
- An employee of the Department of Corrections who does not exercise general control over offenders imprisoned within the institutions and facilities of the Department, but whose normal duties require him to come into contact with those offenders when carrying out the duties prescribed by the Director of the Department.
- Any person upon whom some or all of the powers of a peace officer are conferred pursuant to NRS 289.150 to 289.360, inclusive, when carrying out those powers.
- The murder involved torture or the mutilation of the victim.
- The murder was committed upon one or more persons at random and without apparent motive.
- The murder was committed upon a person less than 14 years of age.
- The murder was committed upon a person because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation of that person.
- The defendant has, in the immediate proceeding, been convicted of more than one offense of murder in the first or second degree. For the purposes of this subsection, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a murder at the time the jury verdict of guilt is rendered or upon pronouncement of guilt by a judge or judges sitting without a jury.
The person, alone or with others, subjected or attempted to subject the victim of the murder to nonconsensual sexual penetration immediately before, during or immediately after the commission of the murder. For the purposes of this subsection:
- "Nonconsensual" means against the victim’s will or under conditions in which the person knows or reasonably should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting, consenting or understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, conditions in which the person knows or reasonably should know that the victim is dead.
- "Sexual penetration" means cunnilingus, fellatio or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the victim’s body or any object manipulated or inserted by a person, alone or with others, into the genital or anal openings of the body of the victim, whether or not the victim is alive. The term includes, but is not limited to, anal intercourse and sexual intercourse in what would be its ordinary meaning.
- The murder was committed on the property of a public or private school, at an activity sponsored by a public or private school or on a school bus while the bus was engaged in its official duties by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person. For the purposes of this subsection, "school bus" has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 483.160.
- The murder was committed with the intent to commit, cause, aid, further or conceal an act of terrorism. For the purposes of this subsection, "act of terrorism" has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.4415.
List of individuals executed between 1861 and 1903
Between late 1861, when Nevada Territory was organized, and 1903, executions by hanging were conducted at the county seats in which the person was convicted.
There has not been a definitive compilation of legal executions conducted in Nevada prior to 1903, however there are 20 known legal executions between 1861 and 1903:
|1||1863||January 9||Allen Milstead||Dayton|
|2||1868||April 24||John Milleain (Millan, Millian, or Milliean)||Virginia City|
|3||1868||October 30||Rufus B. Anderson||Austin|
|4||1870||December 16||Ah Fung||Unionville|
|5||1870||December 16||Ah Ung||Unionville|
|6||1873||October 17||David M. Hall||Belmont|
|7||1874||April 24||John Stewart||Aurora|
|8||1874||December 29||John Murphy||Carson City (at the foot of Lone Mountain)|
|9||1877||January 19||Peter Larkin||Virginia City|
|10||1877||October 30||Robert Crozier||Winnemucca|
|11||1877||December 22||Sam Mills||Elko|
|12||1878||February 19||J. W. Rover||Reno|
|13||1880||April 6||Charles Wesley Hymer||Winnemucca|
|14||1882||February 9||Charley Hing||Winnemucca|
|15||1885||January 23||Indian Dave||Belmont|
|16||1886||March 5||Clarence Gray||Winnemucca|
|17||1886||December 31||Edward Crutchley||Hamilton|
|18||1890||June 20||Elizabeth Potts||Elko|
|19||1890||June 20||Josiah Potts||Elko|
|20||1890||December 12||Hank Parish||Ely|
1903–1921: Individuals executed at the state capital (Carson City) and type of execution
The 1901 state legislature required that all executions be conducted at the State Prison in Carson City beginning in 1903.
The 1911 state legislature provided that a death row inmate could elect to die by shooting or hanging.
|Year||Date||Executed Person||Type of Execution|
|1||1905||September 8||John Hancock||Hanging|
|2||1905||November 17||Thomas F. Gorman||Hanging|
|3||1905||November 17||Al Linderman||Hanging|
|4||1905||November 17||Fred Reidt||Hanging|
|5||1905||November 17||John P. Sevener||Hanging|
|6||1906||December 7||Indian Johnny||Hanging|
|7||1906||December 7||Joe Ibapah||Hanging|
|8||1913||May 14||Andriza Mircovich||Firing Squad (Machine)|
1921–1976: Nevada State Prison gas chamber
Prior to January 1, 1912 the law prescribed hanging as the means of carrying out the death sentence in the State of Nevada, however, upon revision of the statutes in 1911 the condemned were allowed a choice between the gallows and the firing squad. This remained the law until March 28, 1921 when an amendment was adopted providing for execution by means of lethal gas. Nevada was the first state to sanction the use of the gas chamber.
The first execution by use of lethal gas took place in February 1924 and has been used as the means of carrying out the death sentence a total of thirty-one times. The last execution was held October 22, 1979.
|Executed Person||Conviction||Date of Execution||Age at time of Execution|
|1||Gee Jon||convicted of killing Tom Quong Kee||Executed, February 8, 1924||Age 28|
|2||Stanko Jukich||convicted of killing of Jennie Medak||Executed, April 6, 1925||Age 29|
|3||Robert H. White||convicted of killing of Louis Laval||Executed, June 2, 1930||Age 41|
|4||Luis Ceja||convicted of killing Charlie Fong||Executed, September 4, 1931||Age 28|
|5||John Hall||convicted of killing John O'Brien||Executed, November 28, 1932||Age 52|
|6||Ray Elmer Miller||convicted of murdering his estranged wife||Executed, May 8, 1933||Age 34|
|7||Joseph Behiter||convicted of killing Sylvia Reither||Executed, July 13, 1934||Age 34|
|8||Luther Jones||convicted of killing four men after a hold-up||Executed, January 26, 1937||Age 33|
|9||Domenico Nadal||convicted of killing Joe Urrutia||Executed, January 17, 1939||Age 47|
|10||Burton Franklin Williamson||convicted of killing his wife, Mrs.Pauline Williamson||Executed, November 21, 1939||Age 43|
|11||Wilson Henry Boyd||convicted of killing Floyd Robinson and his wife||Executed, May 28, 1940|
|12||John A. Kramer||convicted of killing Frances Collins||Executed, August 28, 1942||Age 64|
|13||Floyd L. McKinney||convicted of killing Lieutenant and Mrs.Raymond Fisher||Executed, November 27, 1943||Age 34|
|14||Raymond Plunkett||convicted of killing his infant son||Executed, June 30, 1944||Age 31|
|15||Floyd Loveless||convicted of killing a policeman||Executed, September 29, 1944||Age 17|
|16||Albert Everette Sala||convicted of an Elko County murder||Executed, August 23, 1946||Age 35|
|17||Paul Maynard Skaug||convicted of killing Mrs. Marie Voss||Executed, January 10, 1947||Age 36|
|18||David Blackwell||convicted of killing two Reno police officers||Executed, April 22, 1949||Age 19|
|19||Laszlo Varga||convicted for the rape-slaying of Mrs.Rev.Morning||Executed, June 7, 1949||Age 24|
|20||Eugene Leo Gambetta||convicted of killing his former wife||Executed, October 18, 1949||Age 46|
|21||James Williams||convicted of killing a fellow worker||Executed, August 25, 1950||Age 32|
|22||Theodore William Gregory||convicted of killing his estranged wife||Executed, January 29, 1951||Age 46|
|23||Owen Caudle Butner||convicted of killing his former wife||Executed, February 10, 1951||Age 36|
|24||Gregorio Arellano||convicted of killing a high school girl||Executed, July 24, 1951|
|25||Domingo Echaverria||convicted of killing nurse Elizabeth Catlett||Executed, April 13, 1953||Age 62|
|26||Clayton Octave Fouquette||convicted of killing Donald Brown||Executed, April 13, 1953||Age 41|
|27||Ferdinand A. Bourdlais||convicted of killing Ward Budzien Sr||Executed, April 23, 1954||Age 27|
|28||Leroy L. Linden||convicted of killing Clarence Dodd||Executed, July 15, 1954||Age 33|
|29||Frank A. Pedrini||convicted of killing Clarence Dodd||Executed, July 15, 1954||Age 46|
|30||Earl Lewis Steward||convicted of killing Thomas Jessen||Executed, February 24, 1960||Age 42|
|31||Thayne H. Archibald||convicted of killing Albert Waters||Executed, August 21, 1961||Age 22|
|32||Jesse Walter Bishop||convicted of killing David Ballard||Executed, October 22, 1979||Age 46|
List of individuals executed after 1976
A total of 12 individuals convicted of murder have been executed by the state of Nevada since 1976. The first execution was carried out by gas chamber; subsequent executions were carried out by lethal injection. All but one waived their appeals and asked that the execution be carried out.
|Executed person||Race||Date of execution||Victims||Governor|
|1||Jesse Bishop||White||October 22, 1979||David Ballard||Robert List|
|2||Carroll Cole||White||December 6, 1985||Marie Cushman||Richard Bryan|
|3||William Paul Thompson||White||June 19, 1989||Randy Waldron||Bob Miller|
|4||Sean Patrick Flanagan||White||June 23, 1989||Albert Duggens and James Lewandowski||Bob Miller|
|5||Thomas E. Baal||White||June 3, 1990||Frances Maves||Bob Miller|
|6||Richard Allen Moran||White||March 30, 1996||Sandra Devere, Russell Rhodes, and Linda VanderVoort||Bob Miller|
|7||Roderick Abeyta||Latino||October 5, 1998||Donna Martin||Bob Miller|
|8||Alvaro Calambro||Asian||April 5, 1999||Peggy Crawford and Keith Christopher||Kenny Guinn|
|9||Sebastian Stephanous Bridges||White||April 21, 2001||Hunter Blatchford||Kenny Guinn|
|10||Lawrence Colwell, Jr.||White||March 26, 2004||Frank Rosenstock||Kenny Guinn|
|11||Terry Jess Dennis||White||August 12, 2004||Ilona Straumanis||Kenny Guinn|
|12||Daryl Linnie Mack||Black||April 26, 2006||Betty Jane May||Kenny Guinn|
- Capital punishment in the United States
- List of wrongful convictions in the United States
- List of exonerated death row inmates
- List of death row inmates in the United States
- Rutter, Michael (1 June 2008). Bedside Book of Bad Girls: Outlaw Women of the Old West. Farcountry Press. pp. 50–.
- Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
- Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
- Christianson, Scott (2010). The Last Gasp: The Rise and Fall of the American Gas Chamber.
- "To Be Shot To Death.".
- Rocha, Guy Louis. "An Outline of Capital Punishment in Nevada". Nevada State Library and Archives. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- "Nevada State Prison Inmate Case Files: Andriza Mircovich". Nevada State Library and Archives. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- "No One To Shoot Murderer".
- Cafferata, Patty (June 2010). "Capital Punishment Nevada Style". Nevada Lawyer (State Bar of Nevada). Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- "NDOC: Ely State Prison".
- "Lone woman on Nevada's death row dies in prison." Associated Press at North County Times. January 31, 2005. Retrieved on September 5, 2010. See page in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 31, 2005, p. 10.
- "NDOC: Organization".
- First Degree Murder
- Sentence of Death
- Nevada execution chamber