who has spent so many years as a criminal defense attorney and is very
well aware of the injustices of the justice system, continues to deny
Kirstin Blaise Lobato the right to DNA testing of the crime scene
evidence that could exonerate her of any guilt of the horrible death
of Duran Bailey, a homeless man.
Of course, we cannot overlook the fact that Mr. Wolfson was a
prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney in private practice, and
probably the mentality of a prosecutor has remained with him, which is
the reason why Mr. Wolfson wanted to be the District Attorney of Clark
The DNA testing would not cost a penny to the taxpayers of Clark
County since the Innocence Project is willing to underwrite the tests
and cover all expenses.
All prosecutors go to court with their eyes set on the bench hoping
that in their near future they will win a judgeship.
Those men and women sell their souls to the devil just to win a case
and get a conviction, many times, for a person they are well aware is
Clark County Deputy District Attorney Steve Owens — who is so stubborn
and refuses to grant Kirstin Lobato the DNA testing — as well as the
renowned prosecutors Sandra DiGiacomo and William Kephart (now a
judge) who were the lead prosecutors of her case, should consider and
learn a lesson from the case of Ken Anderson, a former prosecutor and
District Court judge from Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas.
As a prosecutor trying the case of Michael Morton, who was accused of
killing his wife, Ken Anderson possessed evidence that may have
cleared Morton — including statements from the crime’s only eyewitness
that Morton wasn’t culpable. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then
watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the
next 25 years, Anderson’s career flourished, and he eventually became
a judge. Now, Anderson has been sentenced to jail and disbarred for
his role in the wrongful conviction of an innocent man.
Michael Morton spent 25 years in prison only to be exonerated by DNA evidence.
Maybe this is the reason Owens is so reluctant to grant Kirstin Lobato
her petition for DNA testing, anticipating that the many errors of her
conviction will come to light and expose the corruption of prosecutors
and police officers alike.
Ken Anderson was charged with tampering with evidence in the 1987
murder trial of Michael Morton. He faced criminal charges and a civil
lawsuit for withholding key evidence and making false statements to
the court during the trial.
Ken Anderson agreed to a plea deal that will see him serve 10 days in
jail, perform 500 hours of community service and be disbarred. He
agreed to that deal in the same Texas courthouse in which he used to
Ten days in jail is nothing compared to the 25 years Michael Morton
was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, but the satisfaction of
seeing Anderson’s career destroyed, the embarrassment of pleading
guilty of prosecutorial misconduct in the same courthouse where he
worked every day and to know he is disbarred, would be plenty for any
human being who has lost 25 years of his or her life.
The case of Kirstin Blaise Lobato has many holes in it as it now stands.
Several people were supposed to be interviewed and investigated, but
the system failed her big time and continues to abuse her. There is no
evidence Kirstin was even in Clark County when the crime occurred and
many alibi witnesses have come forward since her trial.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson has the authority to authorize the DNA
testing and so does Attorney General Cortes-Masto. If the state was
right from the beginning there will be no hard feelings from all of
Kirstin’s supporters, but if the state was wrong and it is discovered
that her case is another horrible miscarriage of justice, they must
accept the responsibility and consequences, because unfortunately this
is not a case that happened in Las Vegas and would stay in Las Vegas.
What do they have to hide?
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She
writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.