Nevada's Death Row: Crimes and the Inmates Waiting to Die - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada's Death Row: Crimes and the Inmates Waiting to Die

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Jen Jackson
Channel 2 News

The first Nevada prisoner to be executed was hanged in 1905. Since then, 11 other men have died because of their crimes.

James Biela is now on the list of men on death row for killing Brianna Denison.

For now he'll stay in the Washoe County Detention Center. Once he's transferred to Ely, the Nevada Department of Corrections says he'll go through the same intake process as all prisoners go through. That takes 3 weeks. Then, he'll spend his days with dozens of others on death row.

"Set the penalty of the sentence to be imposed at death."

28-year-old, Biela will join 79 other men on death row at Ely state prison, once his sentence begins.

In Nevada, he automatically gets an appeal. But, there's no telling how long that process can take and how long Biela will be on death row.

"We've had people sitting on death row for 20 years," says Washoe County District Attorney, Dick Gammick.

In fact, there are 3 men who have been there since 1981 and one from 1979.

Gammick adds, "We've also had people volunteer to be executed."

Daryl Mack, a convicted rapist and double murderer asked to be executed. Mack told a judge he would rather die than spend the rest of his life on death row.

In April of 2006 he was Nevada's 12th inmate to be executed.

That was the last time anyone in Nevada was given a lethal injection.

While Biela waits for that same fate, he'll sit in a cell next to other men convicted of some pretty memorable crimes here, in Washoe county.

In 1997, David Middleton was sentenced to death for the murders of school teacher Kathy Powell and casino worker Thelma Davila.

Siaosi Vanisi received a death sentence in 1999 for murdering University of Nevada police officer George Sullivan.

In 2008, Tamir Hamilton was found guilty of killing Holly Quick. He is on death row and awaiting an appeal.

And Robert McConnell, was supposed to be executed earlier this year. But, in January he received a reprieve , his second, so he could pursue an appeal.

He was convicted in 2003 of murder.

And as for Biela, Gammick says the death sentence was the best thing that could have happened. "A sexual predator was removed from our midst permanently."

The DOC says Biela will remain in Washoe County's custody until further notice.

He'll be sentenced on the other crimes July 30th.

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