Nevada Lawmakers Eliminate Three-Judge Panel

Nevada lawmakers have given final approval to a measure that bans the use of three-judge panels in deciding whether the state should hand down death sentences to those convicted of capital murder. Sentences have been handed down by a panel of three judges when a jury can't decide on a penalty, but that procedure was called into question by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Ring v. Arizona. The new procedure requires judges in cases involving hung juries to decide whether to impanel a new jury or impose a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. The bill now goes before the Governor for signature into law.

(Associated Press, May 28, 2003) See Supreme Court.