LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County District Attorney’s Office filed Monday an emergency petition to the Supreme Court of Nevada to stop a vote that could commute the sentences of 65 people on death row.
The writ of prohibition would prevent the vote, which could automatically change all death sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole, from taking place at a Tuesday State Board of Pardons meeting.
The writ argued that the vote would exceed the board’s authority in an unauthorized meeting.
Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak requested Dec. 15 that the board discuss whether to commute all death sentences.
“The Governor has always said that capital punishment should be sought and used less often, and he believes this is an appropriate and necessary step forward in the ongoing conversation and discussion around capital punishment,” a spokesperson for Gov. Sisolak said.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson had expressed his concern over the potential vote ahead of Monday’s emergency filing.
“Have victims been notified of this attempt to commute the sentence of death on a person who murdered their loved one? Are victims being given a chance to voice their opinions on this matter? These concerns, among others, are being discussed, and all our options are being considered,” Wolfson said in a statement to 8 News Now.
The board comprises Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and the state’s seven state supreme court justices. It meets several times a year to discuss commuting the sentences of state prisoners who apply.