April 18, 2001 (CARSON CITY, Nev.) - The Nevada Senate has amended a death-penalty moratorium bill to allow executions to go forward for those condemned who say they want to die.
Senators were expected to vote on the amended legislation today. It would ban any executions for two years.
Sen. Mark James, the moratorium’s sponsor, opposed the amendment, comparing the exception to assisted suicide. But the Las Vegas Republican eventually said he would vote for the amended bill.
Nevada has executed seven people under its current death-penalty law, most of them volunteers who waived further appeals. There are now 87 men and one woman on death row. Sebastian Bridges, a South African national, is scheduled to die on Saturday. While he denies that he killed a friend of his estranged wife in 1997, he has refused to appeal, arguing that the courts should correct the error voluntarily.
Anti-death penalty activists around the country have been pushing for moratoriums. Illinois adopted one by executive order after a series of high-profile cases in which men condemned to death were found to be innocent years after their trials.