Paul Browning– black, age 29 (re-sentence after an appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Clark County, Nevada
By: A judge, after a recommendation of death by a jury
Date of crime: November 8, 1985
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Browning stabbed to death jewelry owner Hugo Elsen during a robbery of the store.  Before Elsen died, he was able to give a description of his attacker.  A friend of Browning’s also testified that she saw Browning with a bunch of new jewelry and he confessed to killing someone to get it. At the penalty hearing, the state presented Browning’s prior violent criminal history.  Browning’s mother testified that he was a good student, had taken paralegal classes, but drugs had forced him to turn to crime.
Prosecutor(s): Marc DiGiacomo Defense lawyer(s):  James Oronoz
Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal 4/18/06

Beau Maestas – white, age 19

Sentenced to death in Clark County, Nevada
By: A jury
Date of crime: Jan. 22, 2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: The jury convicted Maestas for the stabbing of 3-year-old Kristyanna Cowan and 10-year-old Brittney Bergeron while they were left alone in a trailer outside of a casino.  Kristyanna died due to the attack, and Brittney was left paralyzed from the waist down.  Maestas admitted to the attack, but claimed it was in retaliation for the girl’s mother selling him salt instead of meth.  His 16-year-old sister assisted in the attack.  A prior trial in 2005 resulted in the jury deadlocking 10-2 in favor of the death penalty.  While in jail awaiting trial, Maestas was charged with attempting to throw a corrections officer off a balcony.
Prosecutor(s): David Schwartz Defense lawyer(s):  Thomas Ericcson
Sources: Las Vegas Review Journal 3/29/05 (LexisNexis), 6/2/05 (, 8/23/06 (; Deseret Morning News 6/10/05 (, 8/23/06 (2006 WLNR 14650243); (Westlaw); Associated Press 8/22/06 (Westlaw)