Las Vegas Tribune Staff
An anonymous text to our city desk reminded us of a man who was incarcerated for twenty-three years because two Clark County Deputy District Attorneys hid evidence that the defendant was not in Las Vegas when the crime was committed.
Soon we responded to the unknown text by asking if that was the same case where Judge Douglas Herndon was a co-prosecutor with the infamous William Kephart and they responded in the affirmative.
Every time we hear of a miscarriage of justice in the Clark County jurisdiction we assume that it involves Judge William Kephart who as prosecutor abused his position but keeps being elected judge.
It was a question that we all asked in the newsroom: why all of a sudden the interest in damaging the reputation of a fairly good judge by leaving the bad apple out of the barrel when they are not running against each other?
We believe that Judge Herndon is the most knowledgeable and most qualified candidate to sit in the Nevada Supreme Court and here is
why: Judges are humans and as a human they also make mistakes, but it takes a real man, a man with convictions and with respect for the community they are serving to admit, accept and recognize when they make a mistake and face the music that comes with the mistakes and Judge Herndon was man enough and civil enough to do that.
Judge Herndon accepted his error, admitted his mistake and was man enough to apologize and even show some sincere remorse while others kept silent to all the abuse of power and injustice on record at the Nevada Bar Association.
The case of Fred Steese is not the only case of injustice in the Nevada Judicial System that could damage the reputation of the many prosecutors, some of them now judges who abuse the legal system to get notoriety and gain points with their boss or to please that boss.
On May 28 of last year Dana Gentry wrote in her Facebook twitter that “Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon is uniquely qualified to testify about a bill before state lawmakers designed to compensate those wrongfully convicted of crime.”
“I was also a prosecutor who was involved in prosecuting a case in which a gentleman was convicted of murder who was later found to be factually innocent,” declared Judge Herndon. “And if you think that doesn’t weigh heavily on somebody, you’d be mistaken. I think that informs me every day that I do my job currently about the failings that can occur through our justice system.”
Having the courage to admit and accept his mistakes makes us look at Judge Douglas Herndon way differently than we look at other prosecutors and judges that hide behind the badge of the office or behind the black robe that makes many judges believe they are superior to any of us.
The Las Vegas Tribune follows the corruption in the Clark County judicial system, but law enforcement agencies and prosecutors slam
their doors in its face because the newspaper tells the truth they don’t want the community to learn, making the local media a one-way
story, their story.
The Intercept is an online news publication of First Look Media that, like the Las Vegas Tribune and many outside Nevada publications, was able to expose the corruption in the judicial system of Clark County.
This newspaper reported on Kirstin Lobato’s case furiously exposing the corruption that took place in the courtroom of now retired Judge Valerie Vega who was controlled by the District Attorney’s Office where Judge William Kephart used to work, like many of the judges who sit in the Eight Judicial Court of Nevada.
Kirstin Lobato, like Fred Steese, was not in Las Vegas when the crime she was accused of took place, but with the help of corrupt police officers, dirty prosecutors and cowardly judges, she was sentenced to 40 to 100 years in prison.
The publication wrote that “leading the charge against Lobato is Sandra DiGiacomo, one of the two original prosecutors on the case. The other, Bill Kephart, is now a state district judge. Over the years, each has maintained a hard line about her guilt.
DiGiacomo previously brushed off The Intercept’s questions about the failings of the case as “misinformation” spread by Lobato’s supporters; DiGiacomo as many other local prosecutors brushed off the Las Vegas Tribune because we cannot be fooled.
And just last year, Kephart told a local TV reporter that he had “no qualms” about how the case of Kirstin Lobato had been handled. It was “completely justice done,” he said. For speaking out on Lobato’s pending case, Kephart was publicly reprimanded in August 2017
by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.
Perhaps we are going to need to start publishing more often all the abuse of power and injustice that takes place in our community even if our lives depend on it. We should not tolerate that attorneys with money and power intimidate candidates by saying “how dare you run against my candidate,” making us wonder since when are attorneys taking the place of campaign managers?
We were told by sources close to both Metro and the District Attorney that if we keep antagonizing the police department and the office of the District Attorney it may cost us our lives and we are going to be found in the desert, dead; but in the meantime we are supporting Judge Doug Herndon for the Nevada Supreme Court, even if our lives will be on the line.
It is time that the Clark County judicial race is not only decided among lawyers and their staff; we, many Nevada voters, want to make our opinion known with our votes.