Las Vegas Death Row Attorney

When and How is the Death Penalty used in Nevada?

Nevada has one of the highest per capita death row populations, according to the Nevada Coalition against the Death Penalty. This is true even though the law restricts capital punishment to only certain murder cases where an “aggravating factor” is present. A few of these aggravating circumstances are:
  • Defendant is currently incarcerated
  • Previous murder conviction
  • Murder was committed during a robbery, kidnapping, home invasion or first-degree arson, and the perpetrator intended to kill or use lethal force
  • The homicide was committed to facilitate an escape or prevent an arrest
  • Murder for hire
  • Victim was a peace officer or under the age of 14
  • Torture was involved
  • Homicide was deemed a hate crime

Not all murders that meet the criteria for capital punishment will be prosecuted as a death penalty case. Instead, death penalty cases will first undergo a trial phase whereby guilt or innocence will be determined. If the jury returns a guilty verdict, a penalty phase will follow in order for the jury to decide whether the death penalty is appropriate.

Those accused of a crime that qualifies as a capital case have the most to lose if they are found guilty. For this reason, a strong defense attorney such as Cal Potter is recommended.