Checklist of Criminal Issues

CHECKLIST OF ISSUES IN A CRIMINAL PROCEEDING IN NEVADA

 

      This checklist is intended to provide some guidance regarding issues relevant to criminal proceedings in Nevdada. The list is not comprehensive, is not an authoritative statement of the law, and is not to be cited. It is simply a reference guide provided by the Supreme Court Rules concerning some important criminal and constitutional issues, providing a starting point for necessary research. See Supreme Court Rules.

 

 

PRETRIAL MATTERS

 

1.  PROCEEDINGS TO COMMITMENT:  NRS 171.178-.208

Initial appearance before magistrate:  NRS 171.178-.186

      —County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 56-57 (1991) (probable cause hearing required within 48 hours of warrantless arrest)

      —Powell v. State, 113 Nev. 41, 43, 930 P.2d 1123, 1124 (NRS 171.178(3) unconstitutional to degree it conflicts with McLaughlin), cert. denied, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 377 (1997)

 

Appointment of counsel for indigent defendant:  NRS 171.188

 

Preliminary examination:  NRS 171.196-.208

      Exclusion of witnesses and others from proceedings:  NRS 171.204

 

      Discovery:  NRS 171.1965

 

2.  INDICTMENT AND INFORMATION

Information:  Nev. Const. art. 1, § 8, cl. 1; NRS 173.015-.105

 

Indictment:  Nev. Const. art. 1, § 8, cl. 1; NRS 173.015173.075-.105

 

Grand Jury:  NRS Chapter 172

      Composition:  NRS 172.055-.065

             —Castaneda v. Partida, 430 U.S. 482 (1977) (purposeful discrimination in selection of grand jurors unconstitutional)

             —Kirksey v. State, 112 Nev. 980, 989-90, 923 P.2d 1102, 1108-09 (1996) (grand jury must be drawn from cross-section of community, and there must be no purposeful exclusion of identifiable class of persons)

 

Notice of grand jury proceedings:  NRS 172.241

      —Solis-Ramirez v. District Court, 112 Nev. 344, 913 P.2d 1293 (1996)

      —Sheriff v. Marcum, 105 Nev. 824, 783 P.2d 1389 (1989)

 

Notice that death penalty will be sought:  SCR 250(4)(a)-(e)

      —Lankford v. Idaho, 500 U.S. 110 (1991) (lack of adequate notice that sentencer was considering death sentence violated due process)

 

Death penalty not permitted for certain defendants (See also section 24 below.)

 

      Defendant younger than sixteen at time of crime:  NRS 176.025

             —Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988) (plurality opinion)

             —Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989) (death penalty for defendant sixteen years old at time of murder constitutional)

 

      Defendant who did not kill, attempt to kill, or intend use of lethal force or was not major participant in felony and recklessly indifferent to human life.  Cf. NRS 200.033(4).

             —Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 797 (1982)

             —Tison v. Arizona, 481 U.S. 137, 158 (1987)

             —Doleman v. State, 107 Nev. 409, 417-18, 812 P.2d 1287, 1292-93 (1991)

 

3.  ARRAIGNMENT:  NRS 174.015-.065

Types of pleas:  NRS 174.035

      Insanity at time of offense is no defense:  NRS 174.035(1),(4)

             Insanity may be relevant to intent:  NRS 193.220

 

      Plea may specify degree of crime; first-degree murder plea may specify punishment less than death:  NRS 174.065

 

Guilty plea must be knowing and voluntary

      —Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 242-44 (1969)

      —Bryant v. State, 102 Nev. 268, 721 P.2d 364 (1986)

      —Sturrock v. State, 95 Nev. 938, 940-41, 604 P.2d 341, 343-44 (1979) (court has discretion to reject plea)

      —Meyer v. State, 95 Nev. 885, 603 P.2d 1066 (1979) (court must inform defendant of consequences of guilty plea, including nonprobational status of offense)

 

      Defendant may plead guilty while maintaining innocence

             —North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 37-38 (1970)

             —State v. Gomes, 112 Nev. 1473, 1479, 930 P.2d 701, 705-06 (1996) (nolo contendere and Alford pleas are equivalent), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1160 (1997)

             —Tiger v. State, 98 Nev. 555, 654 P.2d 1031 (1982)

 

Withdrawal of plea:  NRS 176.165

      —Mitchell v. State, 109 Nev. 137, 848 P.2d 1060 (1993)

      —Bryant v. State, 102 Nev. 268, 721 P.2d 364 (1986)

      —State v. District Court, 85 Nev. 381, 455 P.2d 923 (1969)

 

4.  DISCOVERY

Duty of prosecution to provide exculpatory information to defendant

      —Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995)

      —Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963)

      —Jimenez v. State, 112 Nev. 610, 618-20, 918 P.2d 687, 692-93 (1996) State must disclose plea agreement with witness:  NRS 175.282

                   —Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972)

                   —Sheriff v. Acuna, 107 Nev. 664, 669, 819 P.2d 197, 200 (1991) (state cannot bargain for particular testimony or specific result)

 

Disclosure of evidence by prosecutor and defendant:  NRS 174.233-.295

      —Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78, 80-86 (1970) (constitutional to require defendant before trial to disclose alibi witnesses)

      —Binegar v. District Court, 112 Nev. 544, 915 P.2d 889 (1996)

 

Subpoena and notice to produce:  NRS 174.305-.385

 

Court-appointed expert witnesses:  NRS 175.271

 

State’s loss of or failure to gather evidence

      —Daniels v. State, 114 Nev. 261, 956 P.2d 111 (1998) (state has duty to gather evidence in some circumstances)

      —Sparks v. State, 104 Nev. 316, 319, 759 P.2d 180, 182 (1988) (loss of evidence by state may lead to reversal)

 

5.  REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL  (See also section 32 below.)

Right to counsel:  U.S. Const. amend. VI; Nev. Const. art. 1, § 8, cl. 1; NRS 34.820(1)(a), 171,188, 175.151, 178.397; SCR 250(2), (3), (4)(a)-(b)

      —Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963) (indigent criminal defendant has right to appointed counsel)

      —Satterwhite v. Texas, 486 U.S. 249, 251 (1988) (capital defendant has right to consult counsel before submitting to psychiatric exam)

 

Effective assistance of counsel

      —Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984)

      —Kirksey v. State, 112 Nev. 980, 987-88, 923 P.2d 1102, 1107 (1996)

 

Right of self-representation:  SCR 253

      —Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975) (constitutional right to represent self if election to do so is voluntary and intelligent)

      —Harris v. State, 113 Nev. 799, 804, 942 P.2d 151, 155 (1997) (court has discretion to appoint advisory counsel)

      —Blandino v. State, 112 Nev. 352, 914 P.2d 624 (1996) (no right to self-representation on direct appeal)

      —Wheby v. Warden, 95 Nev. 567, 598 P.2d 1152 (1979) (no right to hybrid representation), overruled on other grounds by Keys v. State, 104 Nev. 736, 766 P.2d 270 (1988)

 

Discharge or withdrawal of counsel:  NRS 175.383SCR 250(3)(b)

 

Right to expert witness:  NRS 175.271SCR 250(3)(c)

      —Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68, 83 (1985) (if sanity likely to be significant factor at trial, defendant has constitutional right to appointed psychiatrist)

 

6.  BAIL:  Nev. Const. art. 1, § 7NRS 178.484(4)

      —In re Knast, 96 Nev. 597, 614 P.2d 2 (1980)

 

7.  COMPETENCY AND SANITY OF DEFENDANT

Competency to stand trial:  NRS 178.400-.460

      —Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402 (1960) (defendant must be able to consult rationally with lawyer and understand proceedings)

      —Melchor-Gloria v. State, 99 Nev. 174, 179-81, 660 P.2d 109, 112-13 (1983) (hearing required if reasonable doubt as to competency)

 

Competency to choose self-representation or plead guilty is same as to stand trial

      —Godinez v. Moran, 509 U.S. 389, 398-400 (1993)

 

“Next friend” has right to file habeas petition on behalf of incompetent person held in custody

      —Calambro v. District Court, 114 Nev. 961, 964 P.2d 794 (1998)

 

Insanity at time of offense is no defense:  NRS 174.035(1),(4)

      Insanity may be relevant to intent:  NRS 193.220

 

Constitution forbids execution of insane person:  see also NRS 176.455(1)

      —Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986)

      Constitution permits execution of mentally retarded person

             —Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 330-35 (1989)

 

Right to civil commitment proceeding

      —Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715, 731-39 (1972) (indefinite commitment of incompetent criminal defendant violates due process)

 

Right to court-appointed psychiatrist:  NRS 175.271

      —Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68, 83 (1985)

 

Forced antipsychotic medication during trial unconstitutional

      —Riggins v. Nevada, 504 U.S. 127, 133-38 (1992)

 

8.  VENUE, PUBLICITY, SECURITY  (See also section 18 below.)

Change of venue:  NRS 174.455-.505

      —Sonner v. State, 112 Nev. 1328, 1336-37, 930 P.2d 707, 712-13 (1996), reh’g granted on other grounds, 114 Nev. 321, 955 P.2d 673 (1998)

 

Denial of access of public and press to criminal trial must be narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interest

      —Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court, 457 U.S. 596, 606-07 (1982)

 

Cameras and electronic media coverage in court:  SCR 229-247

      —Chandler v. Florida, 449 U.S. 560, 582-83 (1981) (absent showing of prejudice of constitutional dimension, electronic coverage of trial permissible)

 

Limits on lawyer’s statements to press

      —Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada, 501 U.S. 1030 (1991)

 

Courtroom security:  NRS 175.387178.394

      —Holbrook v. Flynn, 475 U.S. 560, 572 (1986) (uniformed troopers in courtroom not prejudicial to defendant’s right to fair trial)

      —McKenna v. State, 114 Nev. 1044, 968 P.2d 739 (1998) (presence of security officers in courtroom during penalty phase was not inherently prejudicial, and defendant did not show actual prejudice)

      —Duckett v. State, 104 Nev. 6, 11, 752 P.2d 752, 755 (1988) (safety concerns accorded greater significance at penalty phase)

 

9.  PRETRIAL MOTIONS:  NRS 174.12547.090174.075(2)

All motions which by their nature, if granted, delay trial must be made before trial:  NRS 174.125(1)

 

9.1  MOTION TO SUPPRESS:  NRS 174.125177.015(2), 179.085179.335179.505 (Compare section 12 below.)

      —State v. Shade, 110 Nev. 57, 867 P.2d 393 (1994) (motion to suppress challenges evidence on constitutional grounds)

      —Cranford v. Sheriff, 91 Nev. 551, 539 P.2d 1215 (1975) (motion to suppress, not habeas petition, is method to challenge evidence on constitutional grounds)

 

9.1.1  ARREST:  NRS 171.102-.176

Without warrant

      —Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 589-90 (1980) (absent exigent circumstances, warrantless arrest at defendant’s home unconstitutional)

      —United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 423-24 (1976) (warrantless arrest in public place based on probable cause constitutional)

      —Howe v. State, 112 Nev. 458, 916 P.2d 153 (1996) (home)

      —Edwards v. State, 107 Nev. 150, 808 P.2d 528 (1991) (hotel room)

      —Franklin v. State, 96 Nev. 417, 419-20, 610 P.2d 732, 734 (1980) (public place)

 

9.1.2  SEARCH AND SEIZURE:  U.S. Const. amend. IV; Nev. Const. art. 1, § 18

With warrant:  NRS 179.015-.115, 179.330, 501.375(3)

      —Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238-39 (1983) (probable cause determined by analysis of totality of circumstances)

      —United States v. Ramirez, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 992 (1998) (no-knock entry justified if reasonable suspicion that announcing entry would inhibit investigation; no higher standard required to justify damaging property while entering)

      —Wright v. State, 112 Nev. 391, 396-97, 916 P.2d 146, 149-50 (1996) (probable cause supported search warrant), overruled on other grounds by Levingston v. Washoe County, 114 Nev. 306, 956 P.2d 84 (1998)

      —Keesee v. State, 110 Nev. 997, 879 P.2d 63 (1994) (search warrants supported by probable cause and not overbroad)

      —State v. Parent, 110 Nev. 114, 867 P.2d 1143 (1994) (anticipatory warrant providing adequate protection against premature execution and adequate description of items to be searched valid)

 

Without warrant:  NRS 171.1232179.065501.375

      —Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 219, 248-49 (1973) (voluntary consent exception to warrant requirement)

      —Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730 (1983) (if incriminating evidence in plain view, warrantless seizure proper)

      —Steagald v. United States, 451 U.S. 204 (1981) (absent exigent circumstances, unconstitutional to search third person’s home for subject of arrest warrant)

      —United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 235-36 (1973) (search of person incident to lawful arrest reasonable)

      —Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969) (incident to arrest, unlawful to search areas of home beyond arrestee’s reach)

      —Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 298-99 (1967) (warrantless entry of house in hot pursuit of armed robber constitutional)

      —Howe v. State, 112 Nev. 458, 916 P.2d 153 (1996) (search of home without consent unconstitutional)

      —Alward v. State, 112 Nev. 141, 149-52, 912 P.2d 243, 248-51 (1996) (search of tent and truck unconstitutional)

      —Hayes v. State, 106 Nev. 543, 549-56, 797 P.2d 962, 965-70 (1990) (protective sweep of home, incident to lawful arrest outside home, unconstitutional)

      —Carstairs v. State, 94 Nev. 125, 575 P.2d 927 (1978) (search of person incident to lawful arrest reasonable)

 

Standing to challenge search

      —Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 148-49 (1978) (standing requires person to have legitimate expectation of privacy in place searched)

      —Scott v. State, 110 Nev. 622, 627-28, 877 P.2d 503, 507-08 (1994) (nonowner passenger lacks standing to challenge search of vehicle but has standing to challenge initial stop)

      —Hicks v. State, 96 Nev. 82, 605 P.2d 219 (1980) (no standing to challenge search of apartment where defendant had no proprietary interest in apartment or items seized)

 

Stop and frisk:  NRS 171.123

      —Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) (reasonable suspicion justifies limited stop and frisk)

      —Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 502-07, 509 (1983) (detention exceeded bounds of Terry stop)

      —Scott v. State, 110 Nev. 622, 629-31, 877 P.2d 503, 508-09 (1994) (constitutional stop and frisk)

 

Inventory search

      —Illinois v. Lafayette, 462 U.S. 640 (1983) (inventory search of arrestee’s articles incident to incarceration reasonable)

      —South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364 (1976) (inventory search of seized automobile reasonable)

      —Weintraub v. State, 110 Nev. 287, 871 P.2d 339 (1994) (search of vehicle failed to meet requirements for inventory search)

      —State v. Greenwald, 109 Nev. 808, 858 P.2d 36 (1993) (search of motorcycle not justified either as incident to arrest or as inventory search)

 

Search of vehicle (see also inventory searches above)

      —State v. Harnisch, 114 Nev. 225, 954 P.2d 1180 (1998) (exigent circumstances required for warrantless search of parked, unoccupied vehicle)

      —Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1049-52 (1983) (protective search during investigative stop reasonable under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968))

      —New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981) (search of passenger compartment incident to arrest proper)

 

Electronic surveillance:  18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-22; NRS 179.410-.515

      —State v. Reyes, 107 Nev. 191, 808 P.2d 544 (1991)

      —Summers v. State, 102 Nev. 195, 200, 718 P.2d 676, 680 (1986)

      —Rupley v. State, 93 Nev. 60, 560 P.2d 146 (1977)

 

9.1.3  IDENTIFICATION

Unnecessarily suggestive identification procedure violates due process unless reliable under totality of circumstances

      —Manson v. Brathwaite, 432 U.S. 98, 109-14 (1977)

      —Wright v. State, 106 Nev. 647, 650, 799 P.2d 548, 550 (1990)

      —Barone v. State, 109 Nev. 1168, 866 P.2d 291 (1993) (no right to counsel at pretrial photographic lineup)

      —Echavarria v. State, 108 Nev. 734, 746-47, 839 P.2d 589, 597-98 (1992) (right to present expert testimony on reliability of eyewitness identification)

 

9.1.4  CONFESSIONS AND ADMISSIONS

Preliminary hearing on admissibility of defendant’s statement:  NRS 47.090

      —Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368, 376, 394-95 (1964) (conviction based even in part on involuntary confession violates due process; out of presence of jury, court must find confession voluntary before jury allowed to consider it)

      —Passama v. State, 103 Nev. 212, 735 P.2d 321 (1987) (effect of totality of circumstances on defendant’s will determines voluntariness of confession)

 

Before custodial interrogation, arrestee must be informed, among other things, of right to remain silent and right to counsel

      —Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 467-73 (1966)

      —Michigan v. Mosley, 423 U.S. 96 (1975) (after right to remain silent asserted and honored, later interrogation after renewed Miranda warnings proper)

      —Arterburn v. State, 111 Nev. 1121, 901 P.2d 668 (1995) (despite Miranda warnings, confession inadmissible due to illegal arrest)

      —Coleman v. State, 111 Nev. 657, 895 P.2d 653 (1995) (error to comment on defendant’s postarrest silence whether or not defendant had received Miranda warnings)

 

Once right to counsel asserted, authorities cannot initiate further interrogation; waiver of right during such interrogation not valid

      —Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 484-87 (1981)

      —Koza v. State, 102 Nev. 181, 718 P.2d 671 (1986)

      —Sechrest v. State, 101 Nev. 360, 363-66, 705 P.2d 626, 629-31 (1985) (valid waiver after defendant initiated communications)

 

Nontestifying codefendant’s admission implicating defendant cannot be used at joint trial

      —Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968)

      —Richardson v. Marsh, 481 U.S. 200, 211 (1987) (codefendant’s admission can be used when redacted to omit any reference to defendant’s existence)

      —Gray v. Maryland, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 1151 (1998) (redaction replacing defendant’s name with obvious indication of deletion prohibited by Bruton rule)

      —Ducksworth v. State, 114 Nev. 951, 966 P.2d 165 (1998) (due to Bruton violation, reversible error not to grant severance of codefendants’ trials)

      —Lord v. State, 107 Nev. 28, 43-44, 806 P.2d 548, 557-58 (1991) (Bruton applies to penalty hearings)

      —Davies v. State, 95 Nev. 553, 598 P.2d 636 (1979)

 

Evidence from court-ordered psychiatric examination

      —Estelle v. Smith, 451 U.S. 454, 466-71 (1981) (not admissible unless defendant received Miranda warnings before exam and defense counsel received notice of exam)

      —Powell v. Texas, 492 U.S. 680 (1989) (despite possible waiver of right to remain silent due to insanity defense, not admissible because counsel did not receive notice of exam)

 

9.2  DOUBLE JEOPARDY:  U.S. Const. amend. V; Nev. Const. art. 1, § 8, cl. 1; NRS 174.085178.391

Conviction of two offenses based on one act not double jeopardy if each offense requires proof of fact which other does not

      —Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932)

      —Brown v. State, 113 Nev. 275, 285-87, 934 P.2d 235, 242-43 (1997)

 

Clearest proof is required to transform penalty intended by legislature to be civil into criminal punishment for double jeopardy purposes

      —Hudson v. United States, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 488 (1997)

 

Retrial violates double jeopardy unless manifest necessity existed for or defendant consented to earlier mistrial

      —Benson v. State, 111 Nev. 692, 895 P.2d 1323 (1995)

 

9.3  SPEEDY TRIAL:  U.S. Const. amends. VI, XIV; NRS 178.556

Deprivation of due process right to speedy trial determined by considering length of delay, reason for delay, assertion of right, and prejudice

      —Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 (1972)

      —Doggett v. United States, 505 U.S. 647, 651-52 (1992)

      —Middleton v. State, 114 Nev. 1089, 968 P.2d 296 (1998)

      Appearance before magistrate:  NRS 171.178

             —County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 56-57 (1991) (probable cause hearing required within 48 hours of warrantless arrest)

             —Powell v. State, 113 Nev. 41, 43, 930 P.2d 1123, 1124 (NRS 171.178(3) unconstitutional to degree it conflicts with McLaughlin), cert. denied, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 377 (1997)

 

9.4  SEVERANCE OF DEFENDANTS AND OFFENSES:  NRS 173.115-.135, 174.155-.165

      —Middleton v. State, 114 Nev. 1089, 968 P.2d 296 (1998) (denial of motion to sever upheld where crimes were part of common scheme and joinder was not unfairly prejudicial)

      —O’Brien v. State, 88 Nev. 488, 491-92, 500 P.2d 693, 695 (1972) (untimely motion)

 

9.5  DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGE:  NRS 1.225-.235; NCJC Canon 3E

      —Kirksey v. State, 112 Nev. 980, 1005-07, 923 P.2d 1102, 1118-19 (1996)

      —Vallardes v. District Court, 112 Nev. 79, 910 P.2d 256 (1996)

 

9.6  CONTINUANCES:  NRS 174.515

Abuse of discretion standard

      —Lord v. State, 107 Nev. 28, 40-43, 806 P.2d 548, 556-57 (1991) (penalty hearing)

      —Banks v. State, 101 Nev. 771, 710 P.2d 723 (1985) (trial)

 

 

TRIAL:  GUILT PHASE

 

10.  PROSPECTIVE JURORS:  U.S. Const. amends. VI, XIV

Jury venires must be drawn from representative cross-section of community

      —Holland v. Illinois, 493 U.S. 474 (1990)

      —Evans v. State, 112 Nev. 1172, 1186-87, 926 P.2d 265, 274-75 (1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1245 (1997)

 

Examination of prospective jurors:  NRS 175.031

      —Mu’Min v. Virginia, 500 U.S. 415, 431 (1991) (Constitution does not require prospective jurors to be questioned on specific contents of pretrial publicity they were exposed to)

      —Turner v. Murray, 476 U.S. 28, 36-37 (1986) (capital defendant accused of interracial crime has right to ask prospective jurors about racial bias)

      —Adams v. Texas, 448 U.S. 38, 45 (1980) (voir dire is to ensure that juror will decide facts impartially and apply law conscientiously)

      —Salazar v. State, 107 Nev. 982, 823 P.2d 273 (1991) (abuse of discretion to limit entire voir dire by defense to 30 minutes)

      —Hogan v. State, 103 Nev. 21, 23, 732 P.2d 422, 423 (1987) (court’s refusal to ask some proposed questions not error)

      —Summers v. State, 102 Nev. 195, 199, 718 P.2d 676, 679 (1986) (individual voir dire without other prospective jurors not mandatory)

 

Challenges for cause:  NRS 175.036

      Jurors must be capable of considering death sentence

             —Wainwright v. Witt, 469 U.S. 412 (1985)

             —Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510 (1968)

             —Aesoph v. State, 102 Nev. 316, 318, 721 P.2d 379, 380-81 (1986)

 

      Jurors must be capable of considering sentence other than death

             —Morgan v. Illinois, 504 U.S. 719 (1992)

 

Peremptory challenges:  NRS 175.041-.051

      Equal Protection Clause prohibits purposeful exclusion of identifiable group from jury

             —Purkett v. Elem, 514 U.S. 765 (1995)

             —J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel. T.B., 511 U.S. 127 (1994)

             —Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42 (1992)

             —Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986)

             —Doyle v. State, 112 Nev. 879, 887-91, 921 P.2d 901, 907-10 (1996)

 

11.  EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES DURING TESTIMONY BY OTHERS:  NRS 50.155

      —Evans v. State, 112 Nev. 1172, 1188-89, 926 P.2d 265, 275-76 (1996) (if exclusion rule violated, prejudice presumed unless record shows otherwise), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1245 (1997)

 

12.  ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE  (See also section 9.1 above.)

Relevant evidence:  NRS 48.015-.035

 

Hearings on admissibility outside presence of jury:  NRS 47.080-.090

 

Failure to object to evidence generally precludes appellate review

      —Downey v. State, 103 Nev. 4, 7, 731 P.2d 350, 352-53 (1987)

 

Evidence of defendant’s abstract beliefs violates First Amendment unless relevant to issue being tried

      —Dawson v. Delaware, 503 U.S. 159 (1992)

      —Flanagan v. State, 112 Nev. 1409, 1417-20, 930 P.2d 691, 696-98 (1996), cert. denied, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 1534 (1998)

 

Documentary and other physical evidence:  NRS Chapter 52

      Authentication:  NRS 52.015-.175

             —Frias v. Valle, 101 Nev. 219, 221-22, 698 P.2d 875, 876-77 (1985)

 

      Proving contents of writing, recording, photograph:  NRS 52.185-.295

             Best evidence rule and exceptions:  NRS 52.235-.255

                   —Tomlinson v. State, 110 Nev. 757, 878 P.2d 311 (1994)

 

      Use of autopsy photographs of victim

             —Robins v. State, 106 Nev. 611, 621-23, 798 P.2d 558, 565-66 (1990)

 

      Chain of custody

             —Sparks v. State, 104 Nev. 316, 318-20, 759 P.2d 180, 181-82 (1988)

             —Burns v. Sheriff, 92 Nev. 533, 554 P.2d 257 (1976)

 

Character evidence generally inadmissible:  NRS 48.045(1)

 

Proving character when relevant:  NRS 48.055

 

Evidence of other wrongs or acts may be admissible to prove, e.g., motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake or accident:  NRS 48.045(2)

      —Qualls v. State, 114 Nev. 900, 961 P.2d 765 (1998) (hearing to determine admissibility required before such evidence is introduced; admissible only if it is relevant, clear and convincing evidence supports it, and its probative value is not substantially outweighed by danger of unfair prejudice)

      —Meek v. State, 112 Nev. 1288, 1292-95, 930 P.2d 1104, 1107-09 (1996) (such evidence improperly admitted)

      —Taylor v. State, 109 Nev. 849, 854, 858 P.2d 843, 846-47 (1993) (such evidence not admissible to rebut claim not raised by defense)

 

Evidence of other act closely related to crime charged:  NRS 48.035

 

Competency of witnesses:  NRS 50.015-.025, 50.055-.068, 175.221(2)

      —Felix v. State, 109 Nev. 151, 173-75, 849 P.2d 220, 235-37 (1993) (children)

 

Interpreter:  NRS 50.045-.054

 

Scientific evidence

      —Santillanes v. State, 104 Nev. 699, 703-05, 765 P.2d 1147, 1150-51 (1988)

      Polygraph evidence

             —United States v. Scheffer, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 1261 (1998) (blanket rule against admission of polygraph evidence constitutional)

             —Santillanes v. State, 102 Nev. 48, 714 P.2d 184 (1986)

 

Opinion evidence

      Lay witnesses:  NRS 50.265

 

      Expert witnesses:  NRS 50.275-.345, 175.271

 

Hearsay and exceptions:  NRS Chapter 51

      —Idaho v. Wright, 497 U.S. 805, 814-15 (1990) (Confrontation Clause prohibits admission of hearsay statement unless declarant unavailable and statement bears adequate indicia of reliability)

      Prior testimony:  NRS 171.198(6), 51.05550.115(4)

             —Funches v. State, 113 Nev. 916, 919-23, 944 P.2d 775, 777-79 (1997)

 

Privileged communications:  NRS Chapter 49

 

Screening witness from defendant; videotaped testimony:  NRS 174.227-.229

      —Felix v. State, 109 Nev. 151, 175-79, 849 P.2d 220, 237-39 (1993) (discussing Confrontation Clause and use of videotaped testimony and of out-of-court allegations of sexual abuse made by children)

      —Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S. 1012 (1988) (screen between witnesses and defendant violated Confrontation Clause)

 

13.  EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES:  NRS 50.115

Defendant must be allowed to cross-examine state’s witnesses regarding bias

      —Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308 (1974)

      —Jones v. State, 108 Nev. 651, 659, 837 P.2d 1349, 1354 (1992)

 

14.  MOTION FOR MISTRIAL

Ruling on motion for mistrial within court’s sound discretion

      —Owens v. State, 96 Nev. 880, 883, 620 P.2d 1236, 1238 (1980)

 

Absent manifest necessity for or defendant’s consent to mistrial, retrial violates double jeopardy

      —Benson v. State, 111 Nev. 692, 895 P.2d 1323 (1995)

 

15.  REOPENING CASE FOR INTRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE

After close of evidence, court “for good reasons, in furtherance of justice” may allow further evidence upon original cause:  NRS 175.141(4)

      —Williams v. State, 91 Nev. 533, 539 P.2d 461 (1975)

 

16.  CONDUCT OF PROSECUTOR  (See also section 27 below.)

      —Darden v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 168 (1986) (reversible error if prosecutor’s misconduct violates due process right to fair trial)

      —Murray v. State, 113 Nev. 11, 930 P.2d 121 (1997) (improper comment on defendants’ postarrest silence)

      —McKee v. State, 112 Nev. 642, 647-48, 917 P.2d 940, 943-44 (1996) (use of concealed evidence to impeach defendant violated prosecutor’s duty to ensure that trial is fair)

      —Williams v. State, 103 Nev. 106, 110, 734 P.2d 700, 703 (1987) (prosecutor’s primary duty is to see that justice is done)

 

17.  JURY INSTRUCTIONS:  NRS 175.161

All instructions, whether given, modified, or refused, must be preserved as part of record:  NRS 175.161(5)

 

Defendant has right to instruction on theory of case so long as some evidence, no matter how weak or incredible, supports it

      —Harris v. State, 106 Nev. 667, 670, 799 P.2d 1104, 1105-06 (1990)

      —Walker v. State, 110 Nev. 571, 876 P.2d 646 (1994) (instruction on lesser included offense)

 

Capital jury must be instructed on lesser included offenses unless state law generally considers them not to be lesser included offenses

      —Hopkins v. Reeves, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 1895 (1998)

 

State has burden to prove every element of crime; mandatory presumptions not permissible:  NRS 47.230

      —Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510 (1979)

      —Barone v. State, 109 Nev. 778, 858 P.2d 27 (1993) (must instruct that state has burden to prove lack of self-defense)

      —Thompson v. State, 108 Nev. 749, 753-56, 838 P.2d 452, 455-57 (1992) (must instruct that state must prove presumed fact beyond reasonable doubt)

 

18.  CONDUCT OF JUDGE  (See also section 8 above.)

Physical control of defendant and witnesses:  NRS 175.387178.394

      —Holbrook v. Flynn, 475 U.S. 560 (1986) (uniformed troopers in courtroom not prejudicial to defendant’s right to fair trial)

      —Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337 (1970) (disruptive defendant can lose right to be present to confront witnesses)

      —Dickson v. State, 108 Nev. 1, 822 P.2d 1122 (1992) (reversible error to allow jurors to see defendant in chains)

      —Duckett v. State, 104 Nev. 6, 11, 752 P.2d 752, 755 (1988) (safety concerns accorded greater significance at penalty phase)

      —White v. State, 105 Nev. 121, 771 P.2d 152 (1989) (defendant has no right to have inmate witness testify unrestrained and in civilian clothes)

      —Thomas v. State, 94 Nev. 605, 608-09, 584 P.2d 674, 676-77 (1978) (jury properly admonished not to consider physical restraints imposed on defendant)

 

Court’s examination of witness must be neutral and to seek truth

      —Azbill v. State, 88 Nev. 240, 249, 495 P.2d 1064, 1070 (1972)

 

Instruction to deadlocked jury must not be coercive

      —Staude v. State, 112 Nev. 1, 5-7, 908 P.2d 1373, 1376-77 (1996)

 

Sequestration of jury within discretion of district court:  NRS 175.391

      —Rogers v. State, 101 Nev. 457, 462-63, 705 P.2d 664, 668 (1985)

      —Crew v. State, 100 Nev. 38, 42-43, 675 P.2d 986, 988-89 (1984)

 

Court cannot unreasonably restrict closing argument

      —Collier v. State, 101 Nev. 473, 481-82, 705 P.2d 1126, 1131-32 (1985)

 

19.  CONDUCT OF JURORS:  NRS 175.011-.131, 175.391-.471

Communication with nonjurors

      —Falcon v. State, 110 Nev. 530, 533, 874 P.2d 772, 774 (1994) (presence of alternate juror during first two hours of deliberations created rebuttable presumption of prejudice)

      —Isbell v. State, 97 Nev. 222, 226, 626 P.2d 1274, 1276-77 (1981) (respondent has burden to prove communications not prejudicial)

 

20.  CONDUCT OF DEFENDANT

Disruptive defendant:  NRS 175.387

 

Right of confrontation, presumption of innocence, safety concerns

      —Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337 (1970) (disruptive defendant can lose right to be present to confront witnesses)

      —Dickson v. State, 108 Nev. 1, 822 P.2d 1122 (1992) (reversible error to allow jurors to see defendant in chains)

      —Duckett v. State, 104 Nev. 6, 11, 752 P.2d 752, 755 (1988) (safety concerns accorded greater significance at penalty phase)

      —Thomas v. State, 94 Nev. 605, 608-09, 584 P.2d 674, 676-77 (1978) (jury properly admonished not to consider physical restraints imposed on defendant)

 

Right to self-representation—see section 5 above

 

21.  VERDICT:  NRS 175.481-.541

Verdict must be unanimous:  NRS 175.481

      Constitution does not require jury unanimity on alternative theories of premeditated murder and felony murder

             —Evans v. State, 113 Nev. 885, 893-96, 944 P.2d 253, 258-60 (1997)

 

Conviction of lesser included offense or attempt:  NRS 175.501

      —Cunningham v. State, 113 Nev. 897, 908-09, 944 P.2d 261, 268 (1997) (after conviction for lesser offense, defendant cannot complain that evidence proves greater offense)

      —Ewish v. State, 111 Nev. 1365, 904 P.2d 1038 (1995) (defendant entitled to instruction on lesser related offense)

 

22.  MOTION TO SET ASIDE VERDICT FOR INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE:  NRS 175.381

      —Evans v. State, 112 Nev. 1172, 1193-94, 926 P.2d 265, 278-79 (1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1245 (1997)

 

 

TRIAL:  PENALTY PHASE

 

23.  SEPARATE PENALTY HEARING FOR FIRST-DEGREE MURDER:  NRS 175.552-.562

 

24.  DEATH PENALTY NOT PERMITTED FOR SOME DEFENDANTS

Defendant younger than sixteen at time of crime:  NRS 176.025

      —Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988) (plurality opinion)

      —Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989) (death penalty for defendant sixteen years old at time of murder constitutional)

 

Defendant who did not kill, attempt to kill, or intend use of lethal force or was not major participant in felony and recklessly indifferent to human life.  Cf. NRS 200.033(4).

      —Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 797 (1982)

      —Tison v. Arizona, 481 U.S. 137, 158 (1987)

      —Doleman v. State, 107 Nev. 409, 417-18, 812 P.2d 1287, 1292 (1991)

 

Defendant who is insane at time of execution:  NRS 176.455(1)

      —Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986)

      Constitution permits execution of mentally retarded person

             —Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 330-35 (1989)

 

Defendant who is pregnant:  NRS 176.475(2)

 

25.  PENALTY PHASE EVIDENCE

      —Middleton v. State, 114 Nev. 1089, 968 P.2d 296 (1998) (describing process jury must follow in considering evidence and determining sentence)

 

25.1  EVIDENCE IN MITIGATION

Defendant may present and each juror must consider any mitigating evidence:  NRS 200.035

      —McKoy v. North Carolina, 494 U.S. 433 (1990) (each juror must be permitted to consider and give effect to mitigating evidence)

      —Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 319-28 (1989) (instructions unconstitutional where they did not permit jury to give effect to mitigating evidence)

      —Skipper v. South Carolina, 476 U.S. 1 (1986) (unconstitutional to preclude evidence of defendant’s good behavior while incarcerated)

      —Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104 (1982) (sentencer cannot refuse to consider any relevant mitigating evidence)

      —Green v. Georgia, 442 U.S. 95 (1979) (unconstitutional to exclude relevant and reliable hearsay evidence at sentencing)

      —Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586, 602-08 (1978) (statute cannot preclude sentencer from considering mitigating evidence)

      —Gardner v. Florida, 430 U.S. 349 (1977) (confidential sentence report violates due process; defendant must have opportunity to deny or explain information used at sentencing)

      —Geary v. State, 114 Nev. 100, 952 P.2d 431 (1998) (specifying jury instruction on finding and weighing of aggravators and mitigators)

      —Harris v. State, 106 Nev. 667, 671, 799 P.2d 1104, 1106 (1990)

 

As long as state must prove aggravating circumstances, it is constitutional to require defendant to prove mitigating circumstances

      —Delo v. Lashley, 507 U.S. 272, 276 (1993)

      —Witter v. State, 112 Nev. 908, 923, 921 P.2d 886, 896 (1996) (defendant has no right to argue last), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1217 (1997)

      —Gallego v. State, 101 Nev. 782, 790, 711 P.2d 856, 862 (1985)

 

Defendant’s right to allocution

      —Homick v. State, 108 Nev. 127, 132-34, 825 P.2d 600, 603-05 (1992)

 

25.2  EVIDENCE IN AGGRAVATION

Notice:  NRS 175.552(3); SCR 250(4)(c)-(f)

      —Kirksey v. State, 107 Nev. 499, 503, 814 P.2d 1008, 1010 (1991) (three-judge panel improperly found unnoticed aggravators)

      —Emmons v. State, 107 Nev. 53, 62, 807 P.2d 718, 724 (1991) (one day’s notice insufficient to comply with due process)

 

Only enumerated circumstances can aggravate first-degree murder, but other evidence relevant to sentencing is admissible:  NRS 175.552(3), 175.554(3), 200.030(4)(a), 200.033

      —Middleton v. State, 114 Nev. 1089, 968 P.2d 296 (1998) (describing process jury must follow in considering evidence and determining sentence)

 

Use of codefendant admissions at penalty hearings governed by Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968) (See section 9.1.4 above.)

      —Lord v. State, 107 Nev. 28, 44, 806 P.2d 548, 558 (1991)

 

Aggravator can duplicate element of first-degree murder

      —Lowenfield v. Phelps, 484 U.S. 231, 241-46 (1988)

      —Atkins v. State, 112 Nev. 1122, 1134, 923 P.2d 1119, 1127 (1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1126 (1997)

 

Psychiatric evidence on defendant’s future dangerousness inadmissible

      —Redmen v. State, 108 Nev. 227, 234, 828 P.2d 395, 400 (1992), overruled on other grounds by Alford v. State, 111 Nev. 1409, 906 P.2d 714 (1995)

 

Victim impact evidence:  NRS 175.552 (3), 176.015

      —Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808 (1991) (Eighth Amendment does not bar victim impact evidence)

      —Sherman v. State, 114 Nev. 998, 1012, 965 P.2d 903, 914 (1998) (evidence of victim impact from previous crimes not admissible)

      —Rippo v. State, 113 Nev. 1239, 1261, 946 P.2d 1017, 1031 (1997) (victim cannot express opinion regarding sentence in capital case)

 

Evidence of defendant’s abstract beliefs violates First Amendment unless evidence bears on issue being tried

      —Dawson v. Delaware, 503 U.S. 159 (1992)

      —Flanagan v. State, 109 Nev. 50, 846 P.2d 1053 (1993)

 

26.  SPECIFIC STATUTORY AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES:  NRS 200.033(1)-(13)

Murder committed by person under sentence of imprisonment:  NRS 200.033(1)

      —Geary v. State, 112 Nev. 1434, 1447-48, 930 P.2d 719, 728 (1996) (not duplicative to NRS 200.033(2)), reh’g granted on other grounds, 114 Nev. 100, 952 P.2d 431 (1998)

      —McNelton v. State, 111 Nev. 900, 907-08, 900 P.2d 934, 938 (1995) (aggravator applies to defendant released from incarceration but still serving sentence)

 

Murder committed by person previously convicted of murder or felony involving use or threat of violence:  NRS 200.033(2)

      —Greene v. State, 113 Nev. 157, 171-72, 931 P.2d 54, 63 (1997) (applies to conviction in prior proceeding, unlike NRS 200.033(12), which applies to multiple murders in instant proceeding)

      —Geary v. State, 112 Nev. 1434, 1447-48, 930 P.2d 719, 728 (1996) (not duplicative to NRS 200.033(1)), reh’g granted on other grounds, 114 Nev. 100, 952 P.2d 431 (1998)

      —Hogan v. Warden, 109 Nev. 952, 956-57, 860 P.2d 710, 713-14 (1993) (evidence of use or threat of violence in prior conviction)

      —Riley v. State, 107 Nev. 205, 216-17, 808 P.2d 551, 558 (1991) (separate prior convictions are basis for separate aggravators)

      —Emil v. State, 105 Nev. 858, 864-65, 784 P.2d 956, 960 (1989) (previous conviction need only precede sentencing)

      —Johnson v. Mississippi, 486 U.S. 578 (1988) (death sentence must be reexamined if based in part on prior conviction later reversed)

 

Murder committed by person who knowingly created great risk of death to more than one person:  NRS 200.033(3)

      —Flanagan v. State, 112 Nev. 1409, 1420-21, 930 P.2d 691, 699 (1996) (discussing application in relation to NRS 200.033(12)), cert. denied, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 1534 (1998)

      —Hogan v. Warden, 109 Nev. 952, 957-59, 860 P.2d 710, 714-15 (1993) (sufficient evidence of course of conduct creating great risk)

      —Moran v. State, 103 Nev. 138, 142, 734 P.2d 712, 714 (1987) (insufficient evidence of aggravator)

 

Murder involved robbery, first-degree arson, burglary, invasion of home, or first-degree kidnapping and defendant killed, attempted to kill, or knew or had reason to know that life would be taken or lethal force used:  NRS 200.033(4)

      —Lane v. State, 114 Nev. 299, 956 P.2d 88 (1998) (improper to find robbery aggravator and receiving money aggravator based on same facts)

      —Bennett v. State, 106 Nev. 135, 141-43, 787 P.2d 797, 801-02 (1990) (need not charge crime to use it as aggravator; if each crime could be prosecuted separately, each can be used as separate aggravator; underlying felony in felony-murder can be used as aggravator)

 

Murder committed to avoid arrest or to escape from custody:  NRS 200.033(5)

      —Evans v. State, 112 Nev. 1172, 1196, 926 P.2d 265, 280-81 (1996) (arrest need not be imminent and victim need not be effecting arrest to find aggravator), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1245 (1997)

      —Witter v. State, 112 Nev. 908, 929, 921 P.2d 886, 900 (1996) (insufficient evidence of aggravator), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1217 (1997)

 

Murder committed for purpose of receiving money or thing of monetary value:  NRS 200.033(6)

      —Lane v. State, 114 Nev. 299, 956 P.2d 88 (1998) (improper to find robbery aggravator and receiving money aggravator based on same facts)

 

Murder committed upon peace officer or fireman:  NRS 200.033(7)

 

Murder involved torture or mutilation of victim:  NRS 200.033(8)

      —Rippo v. State, 113 Nev. 1239, 1263-64, 946 P.2d 1017, 1032-33 (1997) (torture need not be cause of death)

      —Browne v. State, 113 Nev. 305, 315-17, 933 P.2d 187, 193-94 (mutilation constitutionally defined and supported by sufficient evidence), cert. denied, ....... U.S. ......., 118 S. Ct. 198 (1997)

      —Domingues v. State, 112 Nev. 683, 702, 917 P.2d 1364, 1377 (1996) (insufficient evidence of torture, mutilation, or depravity of mind)

      —Smith v. State, 110 Nev. 1094, 1104, 881 P.2d 649, 655 (1994) (former aggravating factor of depravity of mind required limiting instruction)

      —Pertgen v. State, 110 Nev. 554, 561-63, 875 P.2d 361, 365-66 (1994) (torture unconstitutionally vague without defining instruction)

      —Jimenez v. State, 106 Nev. 769, 774, 801 P.2d 1366, 1369 (1990) (despite disjunctive language, NRS 200.033(8) embraces only one aggravating circumstance)

 

Murder committed at random and without apparent motive:  NRS 200.033(9)

      —Geary v. State, 112 Nev. 1434, 1445-47, 930 P.2d 719, 726-27 (1996) (aggravator not unconstitutionally vague but applied too broadly to facts of case), reh’g granted on other grounds, 114 Nev. 100, 952 P.2d 431 (1998)

      —Paine v. State, 107 Nev. 998, 823 P.2d 281 (1991) (aggravator can be found if robbery could have been completed without killing victim)

 

Murder committed upon person less than fourteen years of age:  NRS 200.033(10)

 

Murder committed because of victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation:  NRS 200.033(11)

 

Defendant was convicted, in immediate proceeding, of more than one murder:  NRS 200.033(12)

      —Greene v. State, 113 Nev. 157, 171-72, 931 P.2d 54, 63 (1997) (applies to convictions in instant proceeding, unlike NRS 200.033(2), which applies to convictions in previous proceedings)

 

Defendant subjected or attempted to subject victim to nonconsensual sexual penetration:  NRS 200.033(13)

 

27.  CLOSING ARGUMENT AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTOR  (See also section 16 above.)

      —Caldwell v. Mississippi, 472 U.S. 320 (1985) (improper to minimize jurors’ sense of responsibility in determining death sentence)

      —McKenna v. State, 114 Nev. 1044, 968 P.2d 739 (1998) (improper to suggest jury is responsible for future victims or must choose between defendant and future victims)

      —Riley v. State, 107 Nev. 205, 219, 808 P.2d 551, 559-60 (1991) (arguing future dangerousness proper if supported by evidence)

      —Howard v. State, 106 Nev. 713, 718-19, 800 P.2d 175, 178 (1990) (prosecutor improperly injected personal beliefs and warned of escape without supporting evidence)

      —Flanagan v. State, 104 Nev. 105, 754 P.2d 836 (1988) (among other things, state improperly referred to defendant’s failure to testify)

      —Collier v. State, 101 Nev. 473, 477-81, 705 P.2d 1126, 1128-31 (1985) (among other things, prosecutor improperly discussed matters not in evidence, told defendant he deserved to die, and implied that death sentence was justified to save money)

 

28.  JURY INSTRUCTIONS

Defining aggravators:  sentencing scheme must channel sentencer’s discretion by clear and objective standards and genuinely narrow class of persons eligible for death penalty

      —Arave v. Creech, 507 U.S. 463 (1993) (state court’s limiting construction of statutory aggravating circumstance constitutional)

      —Shell v. Mississippi, 498 U.S. 1 (1990) (state court’s limiting construction of statutory aggravator unconstitutionally vague)

      —Pertgen v. State, 110 Nev. 554, 560-63, 875 P.2d 361, 364-66 (1994) (failure to define “torture” constitutional error)

 

Considering mitigating and aggravating circumstances:  NRS 200.030(4)(a)

      —Geary v. State, 114 Nev. 100, 952 P.2d 431 (1998) (specifying jury instruction on finding and weighing of aggravating and mitigating circumstances and determining whether death sentence is appropriate)

      —Bennett v. State, 111 Nev. 1099, 1110, 901 P.2d 676, 683 (1995) (death sentence not mandatory even if mitigators do not outweigh aggravators)

 

Mitigating circumstances:  NRS 175.554(1), 200.030(4)(a), 200.035

      Court shall instruct jury on mitigating circumstances alleged by defense upon which evidence has been presented:  NRS 175.554(1)

             —Delo v. Lashley, 507 U.S. 272 (1993) (court not required to instruct on mitigating circumstance when defendant offered no evidence to support it)

 

Jury not to be instructed on possible sentence modification

      —Sonner v. State, 114 Nev. 321, 955 P.2d 673 (1998)

 

Instruction to deadlocked jury must not be coercive

      —Lowenfield v. Phelps, 484 U.S. 231, 241 (1988)

      —Staude v. State, 112 Nev. 1, 5-7, 908 P.2d 1373, 1376-77 (1996)

 

Advisory instruction to acquit:  NRS 175.381(1)

 

29.  VERDICT

Verdict form for death sentence must be signed by foreman, designate aggravators found beyond reasonable doubt, and state that mitigators do not outweigh aggravators:  NRS 175.554(4)

      —Rogers v. State, 101 Nev. 457, 469, 705 P.2d 664, 672 (1985) (form need not specify mitigating circumstances found)

 

 

NEW TRIAL; SECOND PENALTY HEARING; APPEAL AND HABEAS REVIEW; STAYS

 

30.  MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL:  NRS 176.515175.381(3)

      —Walker v. State, 113 Nev. 853, 873, 944 P.2d 762, 775 (1997) (newly discovered evidence as basis for new trial)

      —State v. Crockett, 84 Nev. 516, 444 P.2d 896 (1968) (trial court properly exercised discretion in granting new trial)

 

31.  SECOND PENALTY HEARING

If jury fails to reach unanimous verdict, three-judge panel decides sentence:  NRS 175.556(1)

      —Paine v. State, 110 Nev. 609, 617-18, 877 P.2d 1025, 1030 (1994) (three-judge panels constitutional; no right to voir dire judges)

      —Hill v. State, 102 Nev. 377, 724 P.2d 734 (1986) (three-judge panels constitutional)

 

When defendant is not sentenced to death in original trial, death penalty cannot be imposed on retrial

      —Arizona v. Rumsey, 467 U.S. 203 (1984)

      —Bullington, Missouri, 451 U.S. 430 (1981)

 

State may seek death penalty at second penalty hearing after death sentence reversed on appeal

      —Hitchcock v. Dugger, 481 U.S. 393, 399 (1987)

      —Poland v. Arizona, 476 U.S. 147 (1986)

      —Collier v. State, 103 Nev. 563, 747 P.2d 225(1987)

 

32.  APPEAL AND HABEAS REVIEW

Automatic appeal of judgment of death; mandatory review:  NRS 177.055

 

Petition for writ of habeas corpus:  NRS 34.82034.360-.830

 

“Next friend” has right to file habeas petition on behalf of incompetent person held in custody

      —Calambro v. District Court, 114 Nev. 961, 964 P.2d 794 (1998)

 

Failure to object or request instruction generally precludes appellate review of issue, but court may review plain error affecting substantial rights or constitutional error sua sponte:  NRS 178.602

      —Walch v. State, 112 Nev. 25, 34, 909 P.2d 1184, 1189 (1996)

      —Riker v. State, 111 Nev. 1316, 1328, 905 P.2d 706, 713 (1995) (to warrant review, appellant must show that alleged error was patently prejudicial)

 

Court must dismiss habeas petition if grounds could have been raised in earlier proceeding, unless petitioner demonstrates cause for failure to raise grounds earlier and actual prejudice:  NRS 34.810

      —Mazzan v. Warden, 112 Nev. 838, 842, 921 P.2d 920, 922 (1996) (despite failure to demonstrate cause, court must review claim if failure to consider it would result in fundamental miscarriage of justice)

 

Right to counsel on direct appeal:  NRS 178.397SCR 250(2)(c),(e)

      —Evitts v. Lucey, 469 U.S. 387 (1985) (defendant has right to effective assistance of counsel on first appeal as of right)

      —Didomenico v. State, 110 Nev. 861, 877 P.2d 1069 (1994) (court has no discretion to deny appointed counsel to indigent defendant)

 

Right to counsel in postconviction proceedings:  NRS 34.820(1)

      —Crump v. Warden, 113 Nev. 293, 303-04, 934 P.2d 247, 253 (1997) (petitioner has right to effective assistance if counsel was appointed per statutory mandate, and ineffective assistance constitutes cause to overcome procedural default)

 

Effective assistance of counsel

      —Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984)

      —Kirksey v. State, 112 Nev. 980, 987-88, 923 P.2d 1102, 1107 (1996)

 

Appellate court may reweigh aggravating and mitigating evidence and uphold death sentence based in part on invalid aggravator; automatic affirmance based on remaining valid aggravator not constitutional

      —Clemons v. Mississippi, 494 U.S. 738 (1990)

      —Tuggle v. Netherland, 516 U.S. 10 (1995) (remaining valid aggravator may not excuse constitutional error in admitting or excluding evidence)

      —Parker v. Dugger, 498 U.S. 308 (1991) (reweighing erroneous where appellate court overlooked finding of mitigating evidence)

      —Johnson v. Mississippi, 486 U.S. 578 (1988) (death sentence must be reexamined if based in part on prior conviction later reversed)

      —Pertgen v. State, 110 Nev. 554, 563-64, 875 P.2d 361, 366-67 (1994)

      —Canape v. State, 109 Nev. 864, 879-82, 859 P.2d 1023, 1032-35 (1993)

 

Retroactive application of judicial rulings

      —Bousley v. United States, ....... U.S. ......., ......., 118 S. Ct. 1604, 1609-10 (1998)

      —O’Dell v. Netherland, ....... U.S. ......., 117 S. Ct. 1969 (1997)

      —Lambrix v. Singletary, 520 U.S. 518, 526-40 (1997)

 

33.  STAY OF EXECUTION OF DEATH PENALTY:  NRS 176.415176.486-.492

Death penalty not permitted for defendant insane at time of execution:  NRS 176.455(1)

      —Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986)

 

Death penalty not permitted for pregnant defendant:  NRS 176.475(2)

      [Added effective January 29, 1999.]

 

 

 

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