Letter: Court's backlog still applies to inmate suits

As I read Geoff Dornan's nicely written article Nevada Supreme Court continuing to reduce backlog, I think the justices and the public should know what is really going on in the court system since I am personally involved in the system, and who knows, my input might be able to help address those areas where Justice Rose says there is a problem.

First of all, there is a major problem with the inmates' appeals taking so long. The average is about 2-1/2 to 4 years to resolve. That is way too long. I think the problem first starts when it is filed, because according to Jeanette Bloom, clerk of the court, there is no way to know when an inmate first files an appeal and when it is resolved. So we need to start there.

Second, when an inmate files an appeal, it sits there for months and even years before appointment of council is even dealt with. Such was the case of my innocent brother, Nolan Klein, who has had his case sitting there for nearly two years unopposed and even with a motion for appointment of counsel and to expedite, still nothing has been dealt with. That alone ties up the system.

Protocol is another major issue that needs to be dealt with. I have checked with the Supreme Court and there is no order of protocol when it comes to appeals. Protocol should consist in the following order. First, the inmates' direct appeal, death row inmates' appeal, post-conviction petitions, writs of habeous corpus, and then civil lawsuits. If an appeal is still on the books, it should be dealt with first, before their lawsuits since the appeal is more important than their lawsuit. That would also loosen up the cases pending before the court on other issues that private citizens have there.

Third, Day Williams' idea of having the Supreme Court compel the district court to do their jobs better, by addressing and reaching all the merits of their cases before them, would cut appeals.

Now, I know that me bringing this up might upset some justices and prolong my brother's case before them, which I hope not, but if it should, I certainly pray that it will not distract you, the justices, when I, with the help of the Governor's Office, file an application to the Pardons Board. Just in case you didn't know who's being looked at the cases before you, such as the governor's office did when they went to see my brother on information they had an innocent man in prison at the Nevada State Prison or the fact that a book is now being written called "To Prove His Innocence/The Story of Nolan Klein" (the governor is in Chapter 15) won't distract you from the true facts about the case when the application appears in front of you. This is just a way to let you know that, as a concerned taxpayer and a family member of an incarcerated person within the system, maybe we all can work together.


Carson City


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