NSB sets Ninth Circuit precedent in win for client Susan Mellen

On August 17, 2018, in a precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit reinstated NSB client Susan Mellen’s wrongful conviction lawsuit. Ms. Mellen, a single mother of three, spent more than 17 years incarcerated for a brutal murder she didn’t commit. She was convicted by the perjured testimony of June Patti, an infamous liar with a long history of making false accusations to police. In her lawsuit, Ms. Mellen alleged that LAPD detective Marcella Winn, whose role in causing two other wrongful convictions has cost Los Angeles more than $13 million in settlements, buried a damning statement from Patti’s sister, a police officer, eviscerating Patti’s credibility. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Detective Winn should have produced the statement, that “other evidence suggests that Detective Winn would have taken any means necessary to secure Mellen’s conviction,” and remanded for trial.

Ms. Mellen is represented by NSB partners Nick Brustin and Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann and fellow Rick Sawyer, along with co-counsel Deirdre O’Connor of Seamus Law and Innocence Matters.

Read the Ninth Circuit’s opinion here and coverage from the Los Angeles Times here.

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