Kirsten Lobato was convicted by two juries in connection to the 2001 murder of a homeless man.
A judge recently ruled that she had ineffective counsel and now, she’s free.
Lobato is the 200th person to win exoneration through the Innocence Project.
The Innocence Project is a nonprofit organization based in New York. For the past 25 years, the group has been working to exonerate those that have been wrongfully convicted.
“She really believed in herself and in her case and in her innocence,” said Melissa Sopher.
Sopher is a paralegal for the Innocence Project.
“It’s been really amazing her continued spirit throughout all of it and to see how she really came alive so much today,” Sopher said.
Lobato is the 13th person in Nevada to be released after a wrongful conviction.
“I feel excited. I feel grateful. I’m so happy.” Lobato said.
Every year, the Innocence Project takes on about 10 new cases. The organization is currently working on 200 cases across the country, but 6,000 more are still waiting to be evaluated.
“It’s been the sole focus of really every moment of her life to be able to prove her innocence to the world and to regain her freedom and that was achieved today,” said Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post Conviction Litigation.
This was undoubtedly a huge victory for the Innocence Project, but the fight for freedom is hardly over.
“We have systemic problems in the criminal justice system and wrongful convictions will keep happening unless we implement reforms,” Potkin added.
After being released, Lobato had dinner and celebrated Christmas with her family.