Nevada Has An Innovative Idea For How To Right Wrongful Convictions

This comes from ThinkProgress, with thanks to Tonja Brown:

on April 2, 2015

Nolan Klein spent the last 21 years of his life in prison on a life sentence that he never stopped fighting.

Klein claimed a witness misidentified him in a photo lineup and he had nothing to do with the 1988 robbery and sexual assault that occurred in a Payless shoe store in Sparks, Nevada. His sister has continued advocating for his innocence, even after his death.

Courts have denied him a posthumous exoneration, but lawmakers in Nevada introduced legislation with bipartisan support last week which would have helped Klein fight his wrongful conviction and could grant an exoneration after his death, his sister, Tonja Brown, told ThinkProgress. The bill, AB 401, would make Nevada the second state in the nation to allow the creation of separate courts that would re-examine possible wrongful convictions.

“If this bill existed, Nolan Klein and others like him could have their cases heard,” said Brown, who also wrote about her story in an exhibit attached to AB 401. “It would allow all evidence that was not presented at trial that may have been hidden from the defense, newly discovered evidence that was overlooked, DNA evidence to be tested and witnesses that were never investigated.”

To date, there have been 329 people exonerated by DNA testing in the United States, with the average exoneree serving 14 years in prison. Since 2003, prisoners in Nevada can petition the court for DNA testing, but creating a separate court would allow judges to examine all of the available evidence and other information that may have been withheld in the original trial that convicted an innocent person.

The jury in Klein’s case was only shown around 20 exhibits — a small portion of the evidence that was available to the defense counsel, Brown said.

Read the rest here…

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New website launched for Doneale Feazell’s case

We are glad that Doneale gets some more attention with his case. We need much more openness into how the prosecution runs its investigations. There are more cases for innocence in Nevada we have not even begun to dig into. We are thankful that Kirsten Lobato‘s case has caught on in the public eye. Now let’s do it with Doneale, Lerlene, Richard, Marritte and others as well!

From: Nevada Innocence Network:

A new website was launched to promote the case of Doneale Feazell: Donealefeazell.com.

Steve Barket has launched this site to find out and publish the true story on this new website.
We have known Doneale for a few years and we know his case is very much worth investigating.

We hope the truth will be revealed to all.

Lawless America Movie Interview: Tonya Frances Brown for Nolan Klein in Carson City, Nevada

Please watch this powerful and enraging video featuring Tonja Brown, Nolan Klein’s sister, who fought and still fights hard to battle injustice done to her brother and also to fight for basic human rights of others still inside.
On Sept. 20th, please remember Nolan Klein, an innocent man who died in 2009 on that day, while still in prison, all because evidence that could have exonerated him, lay hidden and was never presented by the prosecution.

www.justicefornolanklein.net

Lawless America Movie Interview: Tonya Frances Brown for Nolan Klein in Carson City, Nevada.

Nolan Klein is dead. He died in the Nevada State Prison. He was wrongfully convicted. He spent 20 years in prison and died there, an innocent man.

Nolan Klein wrote a letter expressing his feelings about the corruption that he experienced. Nolan Klein speaks to us from Heaven through his sister, Tonja Frances Brown.

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them.

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone who is interviewed for the film will record a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of LawlessAmerica.com and GRIP, and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislators in each state will receive the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people are already scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see www.LawlessAmerica.com and www.Facebook.com/lawlessamerica

100,000 Call For DA To Allow DNA Testing In Kirstin Lobato Case

100,000 Call For DA To Allow DNA Testing In Kirstin Lobato Case

Kirstin “Blaise” Lobato

Over 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition in support of a powerful campaign to free Kirstin “Blaise” Lobato. Lobato was wrongfully convicted in 2006 for the murder of Duran Bailey, which occurred in Las Vegas in July 2001. Lobato came to the attention of the police because of statements she made regarding a traumatic incident in which she had to fight off a man attempting to rape her. This incident occurred in May 2001, one month earlier and several miles away from the location of Bailey’s murder.

In an act of pure negligence, the police interpreted Lobato’s statements about the May 2001 rape defense as a “confession” to the July 2001 homicide, which actually occurred several weeks later on July 8. This so called confession led to Lobato’s wrongful conviction in 2006.

Lobato’s case has garnered a great deal of support as she continues to fight for her freedom. Six innocence groups are currently working on her behalf. The Justice Institute, Proving Innocence, Worldwide Women’s Criminal Justice Network,  the Innocence Project, the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, and Injustice Anywhere.

In addition to the support mentioned above, the organization Justice4Kirstin has worked tirelessly on Lobato’s case and thousands of people are taking notice of their efforts. The Change.org petition created by Michelle Ravell from the Justice4Kirstin team has been a huge success. At the time of this writing, the number of signatures continues moving upward at an impressive rate.

The petition urges Clark County’s District Attorney Steven Wolfson not to file any opposition to Lobato’s Appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, and requests that he allow the Innocence Project to conduct DNA testing and re-testing of crime scene evidence.

Those who have followed the case are not surprised by the support Lobato is receiving. The facts of this case are crystal clear. Kirstin Lobato is innocent. Lobato’s Habeas Corpus petition includes affidavits of numerous expert witnesses including renowned entomologist Dr. Gail Anderson who concluded that the time of death was late in the evening and could not have been as early as contended by the prosecution. This would mean that the crime had to occur at a time when the prosecution conceded that Lobato was in Panaca 170 miles from the crime scene as verified by numerous eyewitnesses.

In addition to Lobato’s rock solid alibi, she also passed a polygraph administered by highly-respected Ron Slay whose work is frequently used by prosecutors. Additional proof verifying Lobato’s statements was provided by eight people who gave witness statements to the police that Lobato discussed her attacker’s failed rape attempt prior to the July 8 homicide, proving that her statements had absolutely nothing to do with Bailey’s murder.

Lobato’s case is the clearest case of a wrongful conviction that can be found. There is absolutely no forensic evidence linking Kirstin Lobato to the murder of Duran Bailey. In fact there is no evidence of any kind. Support for Lobato will continue to grow until this miscarriage of justice is corrected. How many signatures will it take before District Attorney Steven Wolfson takes notice?  

Please visit www.injustice-anywhere.org and www.Justice4Kirstin.com to learn more about Kirstin Lobato’s case.

Was this man framed for the murder of someone who was still alive?

From the Blog of Nevada Cure:

Thank you for taking the time to read this. NV-CURE received this letter and one of our members was his cell mate and believes that the story is absolutely true. Anyway, it would sure be worth looking into:

My name is Richard Milbourn. I have been in prison for 26 years serving two death sentences for a crime that never occurred.

I am actually innocent and I always have been. This past summer I was notified by Nicole Harvey, an attorney in Reno, NV that the person I was framed for murdering actually died under a second identity two years ago in 2009.

How can someone die twice?

The prosecutors — four of them, and the Clark County Public Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada fabricated this guy’s death under the name Michael Rushford (DOB 3-11-57)

They claimed he died on June 2, 1985, and they framed me for his murder and sentenced me to two death sentences and sent this guy on his merry way to continue to traffic tons upon tons of crank (meth) under the identity of Kenneth (Kent) Skagg (DOB 5-12-62)

He died 24 years later in 2009 with not a single member of the jury any wiser.

I possess documentation of the truth that I am and always have been actually innocent as the day I was born. The event for which I was wrongly convicted was fabricated and staged on June 2, 1985.

Will someone please help me and investigate my claims? Everybody wants to cover it up and conceal the event.

Richard Milbourn
#23637
ESP
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301

Was this man framed for the murder of someone who was still alive?

From the Blog of Nevada Cure:

Thank you for taking the time to read this. NV-CURE received this letter and one of our members was his cell mate and believes that the story is absolutely true. Anyway, it would sure be worth looking into:

My name is Richard Milbourn. I have been in prison for 26 years serving two death sentences for a crime that never occurred.

I am actually innocent and I always have been. This past summer I was notified by Nicole Harvey, an attorney in Reno, NV that the person I was framed for murdering actually died under a second identity two years ago in 2009.

How can someone die twice?

The prosecutors — four of them, and the Clark County Public Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada fabricated this guy’s death under the name Michael Rushford (DOB 3-11-57 NV Dr. License Number 061-38-2948.)

They claimed he died on June 2, 1985, and they framed me for his murder and sentenced me to two death sentences and sent this guy on his merry way to continue to traffic tons upon tons of crank (meth) under the identity of Kenneth (Kent) Skagg (DOB 5-12-62; NV Driver’s License #. 542-86-4555

He died 24 years later in 2009 with not a single member of the jury any wiser.

I possess documentation of the truth that I am and always have been actually innocent as the day I was born. The event for which I was wrongly convicted was fabricated and staged on June 2, 1985.

Will someone please help me and investigate my claims? Everybody wants to cover it up and conceal the event.

Richard Milbourn
#23637
ESP
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301

Press Release to the Board of Pardons concerning People who Maintain Innocence in Nevada

Press Release by Tonja Brown concerning the PARDONS BOARD
Today the Board of Pardons will convene and have Public Comments too. Here is the Agenda for today’s meeting. More information and documents available about Nolan Klein’s case at: justicefornolanklein.com

This will be placed on the record at the Pardons Board hearing under Public Comment.

Over the years I have attended several of the Pardons Board hearings and meetings. I believe the last Pardons Board I had attended, placed on the Agenda was the Board to consider accepting those who maintain innocence. It was not excepted. Again, today, I ask that you adopt a policy to allow those who maintain innocence a chance at their freedom and not have to die in prison because of an Over-Zealous Prosecutor wanting to get and keep a conviction at all cost.

Perhaps with this new development and the loss of an innocent man, Nolan Klein, the Pardons Board will now except those who maintain innocence to be allowed to appear before them.

New information has come to light with regard to those who have maintained innocence, including, Nolan Klein, as well as others. For instance, recently, I have hired a private investigator and he has located the prime suspect the police believed had committed the crime that Nolan Klein was wrongfully convicted of. This exculpatory evidence on the prime suspect was withheld from the defense, the victims and the jury.

This prime suspect has admitted that he had knowledge about this crime (The Payless Shoe Store) as well as the other crimes the police believed were committed by the same person. We know that Mr. Klein was not charged or convicted of those crimes because, those victims had cleared Mr. Klein, however, none of these victims knew about this suspect. We’ve always wondered what this suspect looked like. After 23 years later he still resembles the composite sketches and Nolan Klein never did. Prime suspect report attached.

As I listened to what the Investigator and the suspect had to say I found it interesting that when the prime suspect went to inquired into this crime that Mr. Klein was convicted he was told by the police that they picked up a person and they put him away for a long time. That person was Nolan Klein.

As you may recall Nolan Klein appeared before you on October 29, 2008, Although Nolan Klein’s attorney’s did submit to the board the evidence of Washoe County District Attorney, Dick Gammick admitting that they opened up the DNA and tested it and we demanded to know where the results were that were hidden from the us. You denied Nolan a pardon. Shortly thereafter, Nolan Klein’s attorney’s filed in Washoe County a Motion to compel Gammick to turn over the test results. In May 2009 Judge Adams ordered Gammick to turn over the test results and the entire file in Nolan’s case. On June 10, 2009 the entire file was turned over and the rest is history. I want you to know this before you decide to dismiss the Petition for Exoneration. During the June 24, 2009 Pardons Board hearing I provided you the evidence that was found hiding in the DA’s file. See Writ of Mandamus attached.

I have provided this Pardons Board with a list of Defendants names to one degree or another who have had their constitutional rights violated by the Washoe County District Attorney Office, for example, ADA Steven Barker for Discovery violations on withholding exculpatory evidence. In one particular case DNA that exonerated the person.

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Interim/75th2009/Exhibits/AdminJustice/E062310E.pdf
Gammick, Justice Hardesty, AG Masto sat on the Advisory Commission when I presented the cases of ADA Barker. They did absolutely nothing with regard to Mr. Barker.

I anticipate that the NV Supreme Court will dismiss this Petition for Exoneration again, because, that is what they do.

Writ of Mandamus that I filed in Washoe County and then appealed. Geoff did the story last year.
http://washoecourts.com/index.cfm?page=casedesc&case_id=cv10-01057&Submit=Submit

2011 The NV Supreme Court dismissed the Writ for practicing law without a license; however, they are the ones who gave me permission to proceed.
http://caseinfo.nvsupremecourt.us/public/caseView.do?csIID=25404

filed by licensed attorney Petition for Exoneration http://washoecourts.com/index.cfm?page=casedesc&case_id=cr88-1692&Submit=Submit

Nolan Klein’s case is still pending before the NV Supreme Court

Regarding ADA Washoe County District Attorney Office. It should be noted that DA Dick Gammick responded to me when I asked him in August 2010 why we continued to employ Mr. Barker. Apparently it is perfectly acceptable for the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office to violate one’s Constitutional Rights even if it costs an innocent person his or her life, just as long as they get and keep that conviction! ( I have Gammick on video at the Republican Jewish Coalitition, Aug. 2010)

Steven Barker continues to violate Discovery by refusing to turn over inculpatory and exculpatory evidence in cases.

Case 1 – CR09-0158 – State v Felipe Henriqez
Filed September 3, 2009
Discovery violations and or prosecutorial misconduct

Case 2 – CR06-1733 – State v Joshua Leo Davey
Filed Order – January 23, 2007 by Judge Jan Berry
The court has conferred with the State Bar on Steven Barker on Discovery Violations
Filed June 20, 2007 Judge Berry ‘s Order.

Case 3 RCR09- 049502 State Kirk Masten
November 19, 2009
Been caught on multiple occasions hiding evidence violating Discovery laws and rules The Supreme Court Justices Hardesty, Pickering, Saitta issued an Order stating that “deprived a defendant of a fair trial. Further misconduct by Barker could lead to a referral to the State Bar of Nevada.”

CC: Judge Connie Steinheimer, AG Masto , DA Dick Gammick, Washoe County Public Defender.

Tonja Brown
2907 Lukens Lane
Carson City, NV 89706
671-5037

Woman aims to prove innocence of brother, who died in prison

By Carri Geer Thevenot
in:LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Mar. 21, 2011

Nolan Klein died in a Carson City prison on Sept. 20, 2009, more than two decades after a jury convicted him of armed robbery and rape.
But that hasn’t stopped his sister from seeking justice for him.

Tonja Brown has shared her story with just about anybody who will listen.
She maintains a website, justicefornolanklein.com, and has helped write a book, “To Prove His Innocence.”

She has staged public protests. And most recently, she has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Nevada.

“Had he received proper medical care, Nolan Klein would have received a new trial, and he would have been exonerated,” the Carson City woman said . “There’s no doubt about it.”

Brown, 50, filed the federal lawsuit in October in Reno and is seeking at least $1 million in damages.

According to an amended complaint, filed in January, her brother suffered from hemochromatosis, an inherited condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron.

“As a direct result of the negligence of the Nevada Department of Corrections, Nolan Klein lost his life and died an agonizing death without treatment and proper medication,” the document alleges.
Prison officials wouldn’t comment, but their lawyers denied the allegation in an answer to the amended complaint.

Brown is represented by Reno lawyers Robert Hager and Treva Hearne. In her lawsuit, Brown alleges the DNA evidence that could have cleared her brother in the rape case “was compromised while in the custody of the Washoe County evidence room.”

“This was a case of mistaken identity,” she said.
Klein was sentenced to life in prison for robbing a Payless ShoeSource in Sparks and raping the store manager at knifepoint. The crime occurred in May 1988.

Brown said Klein was living with her family in Carson City at the time, and his girlfriend was living in Reno with the couple’s infant son.
If Brown can easily recite all the details of Klein’s criminal case, so can Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick, who bristled when asked about it.

“I’ve been listening to her for 23 years,” Gammick said.
He then tersely recounted the history of the case, including all of Klein’s failed appeals and requests for parole.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that he was guilty,” Gammick said.
After becoming district attorney in 1995, Gammick said, he researched all the issues Brown had raised and “told her none of them held water.”

Brown chooses to believe in a “mass conspiracy,” the district attorney said.
When asked about Brown’s claims regarding DNA evidence in the case, Gammick said investigators had no DNA evidence to test. A cigarette butt collected as evidence “was never tied to the scene,” he said.

An attempt to ask follow-up questions was greeted with a dial tone. Gammick did not respond to a message left at his office after the call was disconnected.
According to Brown’s lawsuit, Klein “was condemned to death by incarceration because of the policy and practice of the Nevada State Department of Corrections in operating its prison facility and in punishing those inmates who are successful at litigation.”

Klein attended paralegal training while incarcerated and filed several complaints against the correctional system and the city of Sparks, according to Brown’s lawsuit, which said that some of his litigation succeeded.

Brown’s lawsuit further alleges that the state “refuses to provide reasonable medical care to its inmates proven by a recent history of unnatural deaths and suffering by inmates within the Nevada prison system litigated by the American Civil Liberties Union.”

The ACLU of Nevada filed a class-action lawsuit against the state in 2008 after the organization’s doctor, William Noel, met with and studied the records of 35 inmates at Ely State Prison.

Noel called the care for inmates “the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering” he had encountered in the medical profession.
The ACLU of Nevada received $325,000 in legal fees when the case settled last year.

This month, the organization released a 68-page report titled “Not Fit For Human Consumption or Habitation: Nevada’s Prisons in Crisis.”
The report claims overcrowding and understaffing are preventing Nevada prisons from meeting the basic human needs of those they incarcerate.

Read the rest here.

Nevada former Attorney General Candidate Travis Barrick Agrees To Represent Kirstin Blaise Lobato

From Justice Denied Facebook Page: (with thanks to Tonja for pointing it out to us)
Nevada Attorney General Candidate Travis Barrick Agrees To Represent Kirstin Blaise Lobato
by Justice Denied – the magazine for the wrongly convicted on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 1:02pm
Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s saga of twice being convicted of a Las Vegas murder committed in 2001 when the then 18-year-old woman was 170 miles from the crime scene, has been written about in two lengthy articles in Justice Denied, and two books published by Justice Denied/The Justice Institute.
On May 5, 2010, Ms. Lobato filed a pro se 770-page state habeas corpus petition in the Clark County District Court. The petition includes 79 grounds for a new trial, including 21 grounds of new evidence, 1 ground each of prosecutor, police and jury misconduct, 2 grounds of Brady violations, 52 grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, and 1 ground of her actual innocence. Her petitions 101 exhibits include Reports by 10 expert witnesses, and Affidavits by almost a dozen alibi witnesses.
 
Ms. Lobato battled pro se against the State’s opposition to her habeas petition for more than 6 months until November 5, 2010, when Travis Barrick agreed to represent Ms. Lobato pro bono until she is appointed counsel by the court. Mr. Barrick was the losing candidate for Nevada’s Attorney General in the election held on November 2, 2010. Mr. Barrick is one of Nevada’s most well-known lawyers, and his involvement immediately changed the dynamics in Ms. Lobato’s habeas case by giving her claims of innocence a stamp of credibility.
Judge Valorie Vega was visibly stunned on November 9, 2010, when she saw Mr. Barrick standing next to Ms. Lobato in the courtroom during a hearing that had been scheduled to hear several motions filed pro se by Ms. Lobato. Judge Vega had not seen Mr. Barrick’s Notice of Appearance, and instead of continuing with the hearing she reset it for December 15, 2010.
For information about Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s case see the following websites:
Guilty Until Proven Innocent (Lobato family’s website)
Justice4Kirstin (official website)
Justice Denied’s Kirstin Blaise Lobato case webpage, that includes order information for the book by Hans Sherrer, “Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s Unreasonable Conviction.” Also included are links to Justice Denied’s articles about Ms. Lobato’s case.
Information about Ms. Lobato’s habeas corpus petition. Also included is order information for Ms. Lobato’s 770-page habeas corpus petition.
Kirstin Blaise Lobato in December 2005 after her release on bail while awaiting her retrial in September 2006.

In Loving Memory of Nolan Klein, who was Wrongfully Convicted


Nolan Klein passed on September 20, 2009, in prison before his compassionate release was implemented.

Tonja Brown, Nolan´s sister, is asking for a Grand Jury investigation, for Nolan’s conviction to be overturned, and for them to be prosecuted and disbarred for conspiring to conceal a crime.

Oral arguments for Tonja’s Writ of Mandamus are set for September 30, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in Washoe County District Court, Judge Flanagan.

Please visit the website Justicefornolanklein.com to read about this case of innocence and the blunders and purposeful misconduct leading to a man innocently convicted.

Please also note the law that has been created to prevent future (or current) misconducts and failures in the judicial system in Nevada:

NOLAN’S LAW: Once a defendant is arrested and charged with a crime, the law enforcement agency MUST provide the Accused/Defense Counsel with a copy of all Materiality/Exculpatory evidence at the same time the prosecution receives it.
Then it will be left up to the Court to decide what is or is not admissible for trial. Any additional Materiality/Exculpatory evidence that is provided to the prosecution MUST be simultaneously provided to the Accused/Defense Counsel.