Nevada Supreme Court upholds death penalty in double murder
March 1, 2018
The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence ordered for Ralph Jeremias, rejecting the argument the conviction can't stand because jury selection was closed to the public.
Under federal case law, closing jury selection normally entitles a defendant to reversal of his conviction because he didn't get a public trial.
But in this case, the high court ruled Jeremias didn't preserve that error for appellate review because he and his counsel made no objection at the time.
"Under Nevada law, this means he must demonstrate plain effort that affected his substantial rights," according to the opinion by Justice Lidia Stiglich.
“Under Nevada law, this means he must demonstrate plain effort that affected his substantial rights.”
— Justice Lidia Stiglich
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She wrote that failed to demonstrate the jury selection process affected his rights.
Jerenias was convicted of murdering Brian Judson and Paul Stephens by shooting them in the head in the apartment they shared.
Credit cards belonging to the victims were used at various locations after the murders and surveillance videos identified Jeremias as a subject.
He was convicted of double murder with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary and two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon.
All seven members of the Nevada Supreme Court concurred in the opinion.