Lenhard v. Clark County Deputy Public Defenders
443 U.S. 1306 (1979)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lenhard v. Clark County Deputy Public Defenders, 443 U.S. 1306 (1979)

Lenhard v. Clark County Deputy Public Defenders

No. A-172

Decided September 7, 1979

443 U.S. 1306

Syllabus

A temporary stay of execution of a death sentence imposed by a Nevada trial court and affirmed by the Nevada Supreme Court is continued pending the full Court's consideration of an application by public defenders as "next friends" of the defendant, who disclaimed any effort to prevent his execution. Although there are doubts concerning the applicants' standing, particularly in view of the record evidence and lower court findings as to the defendant's competency to waive the assertion of any constitutional infirmities in his sentence, and although the defendant has obtained full review of the death sentence and trial proceedings by the Nevada Supreme Court, which upheld the constitutionality of the Nevada capital punishment statute, doubts as to the proper course of action are resolved in favor of continuing the stay because the Circuit Justice acts as surrogate for the full Court, and because the Court will have an opportunity to consider the application at its regularly scheduled Conference the last week of the month.

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