Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pardon for Murder He Did Not Commit

It is reported that the Nevada Board of Pardons "has voted to clear a man who spent more than two decades in prison for a murder he did not commit."  Gov. Brian Sandoval and seven state Supreme Court justices "voted to issue an unconditional pardon to 54-year-old Fred Steese."

Attorney General Adam Laxalt, however, cast the sole no vote, because of a letter from a District Attorney's office opposing the pardon.
"Steese was convicted of the 1992 killing of a Las Vegas performer but always maintained his innocence. A judge declared him factually innocent in 2012, but the district attorney refiled charges. In order to get out of prison, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while maintaining his innocence."
See story here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nevada: One Vote Short?

54 year-old Mark Scott McKinney was convicted of multiple counts of robbery involving use of a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 180 years in prison. A co-defendant, however, was granted a commutation of sentence by the State's nine-member Board of Pardons and made immediately eligible for parole after serving only 17 years. So, McKinney applied to Board for a commutation as well. The Board granted the commutation, but the vote was only 4-3 (or one vote short of the majority of the board). The State's Supreme Court has determined that McKinney has "used the wrong legal process" for relief from the determination that the one extra vote was needed. See story here.

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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nevada: Denial, Grant

Conan Pope was 16 years old when he shot and killed his own father. That was in 2000. He has since requested a pardon in order to be able to own firearms and join the military. Justice Michael Cherry, who handled the case, supported the application. A District Attorney opposed it. On the other hand, the State board voted to pardon 60-year old Christopher Larsen, who was convicted of first degree murder 35 years ago. See full story here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nevada: Pardons and Prison Population Problems

The Nevada Appeal reports that the State's Pardons Board is considering an idea "that could get large numbers of inmates out of the state’s prisons." First, the State would identify "first offenders with no history of violence who are within 24 months of completing their minimum prison sentence." Illegal aliens in that group would be conditionally pardoned and turned over to the federal immigration agency for deportation. Remaining inmates within the pool would also be conditionally pardoned to "alternative programs" which would be "much cheaper." Currently, 48 percent of 13,000 inmates in Nevada prisons are first time offenders. In addition, there are almost 2,000 "wanted by immigration authorities for deportation." See story here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nevada: Requests

The Nevada Appeal reports that fifteen inmates will go before the State's Pardons Board today seeking clemency. Among them is John Olausen, charged in the murder of police detective. Olausen was originally sentenced to death, but a ruling converting the sentence to life in prison without possible parole. Now he is seeking commutation of that sentence to allow the possibility of parole. Likewise, Robert Stoltz, Lynn Huffman, Roger Davis, Janine Hillman and Thomas Welsh — all serving life sentences without possible parole — are seeking commutations to allow them the possibility of parole. Nolan Klein (sexual assault), on the other hand, is seeking a commutation of his life sentence to a defined number of years. Jesus Avelar, who was sentenced to 25 years for trafficking wants an immediate release. See story here.

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