Nevada Coalition to End the Death Penalty and ACLU of Nevada Request Stay of Scheduled Execution

RENO, NV – The Nevada Coalition to End the Death Penalty (NCADP) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada sent a letter to Governor Jim Gibbons, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, Justices of the Nevada Supreme Court and Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik to request a stay of execution of William Castillo scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2007. Castillo volunteered to be executed.

Despite the fact that the United States Supreme Court will hear a Kentucky case challenging the three drug cocktail used for lethal injections, Nevada plans to use the disputed process to execute Castillo. The Supreme Court will decide whether the method of execution causes a risk of unnecessary pain. Until then, several other states have created de facto moratoriums because of the problems surrounding lethal injection. The letter highlights the fact that even Texas has stayed an execution because of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing.

The authors of the letter, Nancy Hart, President of NCADP and Richard Siegel, President of the ACLU of Nevada, state "[w]hether as members of the Pardons Board, or as the highest officials of this State charged with ensuring a legal process of execution, you have the power to halt executions until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on lethal injection."

Citing a precedent where Nevada stayed an execution while waiting for the United States Supreme Court to act, the letter urges Nevada to once again wait for the Court to rule before executing William Castillo. The letter states, "[w]e urge you to exercise [the] authority [to stay the execution] in the name of justice and out of respect for the highest court in our land."

A copy of the letter to state officials can be found online at: www.aclu.org/capital/general/32149lgl20071012.html

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