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Note from the Issue Editor: Stephen F. Smith, Esq.

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A Note From the Issue Editor
By Stephen F. Smith, Esq.
Vice President Joe Biden was recently quoted as saying “There is nothing like a hanging to focus one’s attention.” Now that the Issue Editor has your attention, welcome to the June issue of Nevada Lawyer magazine, which is themed on criminal law and specifically the death penalty. According to a recent newspaper article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, (Monday, April 5, 2010, “Justice on Hold – An Unforgiving Wait for Justice” by reporter Ed Vogel), there were 80 defendants on death row in Nevada. Nevada has executed 12 inmates since the death penalty was re-established in 1977. A total of 143 people have been sentenced to death in Nevada. The June issue is jam-packed with articles about the death penalty in Nevada and the process for capital punishment. Please keep in mind that this issue is not dedicated to a debate about whether or not Nevada should have the death penalty, but rather the focus is upon the history and the legal issues. You should start with Patty Cafferata’s fine piece entitled “Capital Punishment – Nevada Style.” It is full of interesting Nevada history. Maizie Pusich offers another fine piece, entitled “Defending Death.” Thom Gover from the Attorney General’s Office has written an excellent article on “Capital Federal Habeas Corpus,” which explains this process. And don’t miss “Preparing to Make the Case for Life” by Scott Coffee. Lastly, there is an opportunity to get an hour of Continuing Legal Education credit by reading the article called “Comprehensive Changes to the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure” by Micah Echols. Stephen F. Smith has been a practicing attorney in Las Vegas since 1991 and can be reached at
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June 2010
Nevada Lawyer

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