NEVADA (USA): RONNIE MILLIGAN RELEASED
September 24, 2010: District Judge Richard Wagner ordered the immediate release of Ronnie Milligan, who has spent over 20 years on death row in Nevada.
Milligan, now 60, white, may have been wrongfully convicted of the 1980 killing of 77-year-old tourist Zolihon Voinski during a robbery.
Milligan was the only one of three co-defendants who was sentenced to death for the crime. Four years ago, the Nevada Supreme Court set new death penalty sentencing protocols that toughened requirements that make an inmate eligible for the death penalty.
The new ruling by the court required the proof of existence of at least two aggravating factors, and Milligan was among a handful of inmates who benefited from the ruling. Doubts concerning Milliganâs guilt were also raised after a letter written by an eyewitness at his trial, Ramon Houston, was discovered. In the letter, Houston indicated that he killed Voinski, not Milligan. The letter also disclosed that Milligan, who had testified at his trial that he was in an alcoholic blackout, was not even there when Voinski was killed.
Another co-defendant signed an affidavit saying that Milligan was not present during the killing, and that everybody involved conspired against him when they learned he had no memory of that day. Expressing âgrave reservationsâ about Milliganâs guilt, DistrictÂ JudgeÂ RichardÂ WagnerÂ sentenced Milligan to a term of life with the possibility of parole and determined that Milligan was immediately eligible for parole. (Sources: Associated Press, 24/09/2010)