The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected a Las Vegas inmate petition for a new trial in a murder case now more than 30 years old.
The core of Rodney Emil’s petition charges that he was not provided with counsel in his 1992 post-conviction proceedings.
“His claim lacks merit because he had no right to the effective assistance of post-conviction counsel,” says the order signed by all members of the court except Justice Mark Gibbons.
His previous petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, the justices wrote, were all filed before enactment of the statute that now mandates appointment of counsel for habeas petitions in a death penalty case. If he were convicted today and sentenced to death, he would be entitled to effective appointed counsel.
The decision also points out that this appeal of his conviction is his fourth petition and was filed 23 years after the Supreme Court denied his direct appeal.
He was convicted of the 1984 shooting of his step father on Father’s Day.