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NEVADA DEATH PENALTY: Grieving family fears murderer will live

Javier Righetti sentenced to death in 2017
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Posted at 9:35 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 03:13:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 23 states have done away with the death penalty, and now Nevada is one step closer to joining that list as a new bill passed through the Nevada Assembly.

However, one Las Vegas family says the man who murdered their daughter deserves to die.

Half a decade was how long it took Jennifer Otremba to get justice for her 15-year-old daughter.

Alyssa Otremba was raped, tortured and murdered by Javier Righetti in 2011.

He was sentenced to death.

Jennifer Otremba spoke to 13 Action News when that ruling came down in 2017.

“This journey is hard and it is just beginning for us,” said Otremba. “We still have a life to live without Aalyssa."

The journey since has come along with another painful punch.

“I’m disgusted, angry and heartbroken,” says Otremba.

“He didn’t consider her life when he took it, so I don’t understand why these lawmakers would consider his.”

On Tuesday, the Nevada Assembly approved Assembly Bill 395, which would abolish Nevada’s death penalty.

RELATED: Nevada Assembly approves bill that would get rid of death penalty

Jennifer wrote a letter of opposition to lawmakers regarding the bill, and now she fears the life of her daughter’s killer could be spared.

“I feel like they are putting the life of a murder as priority and above the justice of the life of my daughter,” says Otremba.

RELATED: Death penalty debate reemerges in Nevada after past stalls

On the other side, some are calling the Nevada Assembly’s approval a step towards ending a “barbaric” practice.

“It’s not a system of vengeance, it’s a system of justice," says Holly Wellborn, ACLU Nevada Policy Director.

Welborn says this is a historic bill not only for Nevada, but for the country, and hopes it is passed.

“We’re one of the only developed western countries that still has the death penalty, so it’s time to do what is just,” says Welborn.