Nevada Supreme Court orders judge to release inmate

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From the Nevada Appeal:

"In an unusual move, the Nevada Supreme Court Tuesday ordered a Las Vegas woman released from prison.

The order comes a month after the court reversed the conviction of Joy Winston as an habitual criminal, concluding the state failed to present sufficient evidence to support the jury verdict.

Winston, 52, was convicted of burglary for allegedly trying to steal CDs from Wal-Mart. That conviction was used by the Clark County District Court to impose a life sentence after declaring Winston an habitual

criminal.

She was imprisoned in March 2008, facing a minimum 10 years before becoming eligible for parole.

The high court ruled June 3 that there wasn't enough evidence to support the burglary conviction and, therefore, that the habitual criminal sentence could not stand.

Winston's lawyer petitioned the high court for her release two weeks ago saying despite that ruling, the district court has refused to order her release and she was still in prison.

The order issued Tuesday grants that petition. It states that "because our decision was based on a determination that the state had presented legally insufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution precludes a second trial."

Justices Michael Cherry, Nancy Saitta and Mark Gibbons disagreed with the district judge's claim she had no jurisdiction to release Winston. They directed the Supreme Court Clerk to issue an order for the district court to discharge the woman from custody."

 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on July 15, 2009 2:18 PM.

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