Nolan Klein, who spent nearly 20 years in the Nevada prison system trying to prove his innocence, died Sunday in the infirmary at Northern Nevada Correctional Center.
Klein, 54, never wavered from his claim that he had been wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in a Sparks shoe store in 1988. His staunchest supporter in that cause was his sister Tonya Brown, who has worked since that conviction to find evidence that would clear her brother.
His death comes just a week after Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik ordered his staff to begin preparing paperwork for a compassionate release due to Klein's failing health. He was suffering from several serious health problems including pneumonia and liver failure from Hepatitis C.
Brown said the fight to clear her brother's name will continue. There are actions before judges in both state and federal court challenging the conviction and accusing the Washoe County District Attorney's office of hiding or destroying potentially exculpatory evidence.