Lawyer for Ely Killer Critic of NV Judge Elections

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A lawyer for a convicted Nevada killer has raised a new legal argument in an effort to get his client off death row.

Public defender Michael Pescetta represents Robert Ybarra, who was convicted of the 1979 murder of 15-year-old Nancy Griffith in White Pine County in 1979. She was raped, doused in gasoline and lit on fire.

Pescetta argues that it's impossible for anyone accused of such a reprehensible killing to get a fair trial in Nevada because the state's judges are beholden to voters who won't tolerate jurists they view as soft on crime.

Pescetta says he wasn't familiar with the election argument being advanced in other states.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Wieland argues it's too late for Ybarra's lawyers to raise a new legal argument.