Nevada’s new execution chamber is finished, but there is no expectation it will be used anytime soon, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The state can no longer obtain the drugs it needs to proceed with an execution. The legislature allocated nearly $860,000 for the new chamber to replace one at a now closed prison. Nevada law requires lethal injections for executions, but its supply of one of the drugs has expired and drug companies no longer will provide the chemicals to the state. The new execution chamber and related facilities take up 1,900 square feet at the Ely State Prison, the maximum security prison where Nevada’s death row population of 81 men is housed. There are no pending executions because of legal appeals in progress by the inmates.
State Senate Judiciary Chairman Tick Segerblom does not plan to propose legislation to do away with the death penalty. While there might be support to abolish the death penalty in the Legislature, any bill would likely be vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, he said. Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, the new chairman of the Corrections, Probation and Parole Committee, plans to ask voters to weigh in on whether to repeal capital punishment. “Given the state audit that documented the high financial costs of having capital punishment as a penalty in Nevada along with the practical matter of the lack of availability of the lethal chemical cocktail used to carry out the executions, I think it’s time that Nevadans are asked to weigh in on whether they still want capital punishment on the books,” he said.