Death Penalty Foes Urge Stay Of Nevada Execution

Two groups opposed to capital punishment want the Nevada Pardons Board to halt the scheduled Monday execution of convicted murderer William Castillo, who has refused to file available appeals that would keep him alive.

Nancy Hart of the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty and Richard Siegel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada say the Pardons Board has the authority to halt Castillo's lethal injection pending a U.S. Supreme Court review of such injections.

The issue before the Supreme Court is whether a combination of three drugs used in executions amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

Melissa Subbotin, spokeswoman for Gov. Jim Gibbons who chairs the Pardons Board, says Gibbons has no intention to halt the execution.

State Corrections Director Howard Skolnik says Castillo will get double doses of the three lethal drugs normally used in executions.

He said the change ensures that Castillo should "go out instantly" and not experience any discomfort.