Friday, November 20, 2009

Nevada: Denials, Commutations

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting on several clemency requests. Alisha Burns was only 15-years old when she posed as a prostitute, led a man into a Las Vegas hotel room and strangled him to death. She was given a life term, with eligibility for parole after 10 years. That was a little over 6 years ago, but the state Pardons Board has now denied a request for clemency. Billy Johnson received a life term plus consecutive sentences of 60 to 160 months for kidnapping. But his victim testified in support of reducing the sentence. She noted that, after 12 years in prison, Johnson "would not do it again.” Thanks to the Board, Johnson will be eligible to apply for parole in 2012, then start serving a five-year term. Richard Gaston, who was convicted of first-degree murder, was denied a reduction in sentence that would have made him immediately eligible to apply for parole. Gaston has served for over 16 years and the state prison supported his application. But family members of the victim protested. Kevin Houser was 16-years old when he and a co-defendant drove a third party into the desert and shot him to death. Houser's two life terms were reduced to 10 and 25 years. He will be immediately eligible for parole but then will have to start serving a ten-year term. See full article here.

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