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A appeals court throws out Debra Jean Milke's conviction for killing her son in 1989 - saying evidence in the trial was "flimsy".A mother on death row for 22 years for killing her four-year-old son in 1989 has had her conviction overturned.
A federal appeals court ruled Debra Jean Milke's case was tainted by a detective with a history of lying under oath.
Prosecutors had said Milke dressed up her son Christopher in his favourite outfit and told him he was going to see Santa Claus at a shopping centre during the holidays.
Instead, he was taken into the desert by her boyfriend and another man and shot three times in the back of the head as part of what prosecutors said was a plot by Milke and the two other defendants to collect a $50,000 life insurance policy.
The 49-year-old was convicted in October 1990. The Arizona Supreme Court had gone so far to issue a death warrant for Milke in 1997, but the execution was delayed because she had yet to exhaust federal appeals.
A three-judge panel said the prosecution failed to disclose information about a history of misconduct by detective Armando Saldate Jr, who said that Milke confessed to plotting her son's murder.
There was no other witness or recording of the purported confession by Milke, who has proclaimed her innocence.
"No civilised system of justice should have to depend on such flimsy evidence, quite possibly tainted by dishonesty or overzealousness, to decide whether to take someone's life or liberty," Chief Justice Alex Kozinski wrote in the decision.
The trial amounted to "a swearing contest" in which the judge and jury ultimately believed the detective over Milke, but they didn't know of his record of dishonesty and misconduct, Mr Kozinski wrote.
The ruling reversed a US District Court judge's ruling and ordered the lower court to require Arizona authorities to turn over all relevant personnel records for the detective.
Once the material is produced and defence lawyers have time to review it, prosecutors will have 30 days to decide whether to retry her. If they don't, she will be released from prison.
In 2009, Milke's defence lawyer Michael Kimerer said his client maintains her innocence and was a loving mother who still grieves her son's death.
"Our main concern is the fact that I have a client that never confessed and a police detective who said she gave a confession. There was no tape recorder, no witnesses, nothing. Just his word," Mr Kimerer said then.
Milke would have been the first woman executed in Arizona since the 1930s had her appeals run out.
Within a month or so, Johnnie Lee Savory hopes to hear his attorneys will be able to use new DNA technology to test several items used to convict him 30 years ago of a double murder in an effort to clear his name.
As the case of "Dora", a young woman who either committed a minor crime or made a mistake, shows - people from deprived backgrounds have an entirely different experience of custody than people like Chris Huhne or Vicky Pryce.
A human rights activist says Obama and Holder have abandoned African Americans and other minorities to the endemic of racial shootings by US police. In the background of this another unarmed black teenager shot by police in the US. Plain clothed cops shot 16 year old Kimani Gray in Brooklyn New York for, they claim, "acting suspiciously". The slaying enraged the community into street protests that have so far lasted for three days and where at least two protesters have been arrested. Press TV has interviewed Dr. Randy Short, human rights activist, Washington about this issue
Lives are being lost each day and it has got to STOP!
Governor Pat Quinn, City of Chicago President Barack Obama, President of the United States Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City of Chicago Senator Dick Durbin, City of Chicago Willie Cochran, Office of the City Clerk Sheriff Thomas Dart, Chicago Police Department Bring the National Guard in to protect our children! We do not want to become accustomed to the loss of life. We do not want to hear of another child's death and go on with life as though nothing has happened. We do not want another child to die to the streets of Chicago. We are requesting that you conduct a temporary trial of National Guardsmen to come into the city and patrol. We ask that you do a gun sweep through the most problematic neighborhoods. We ask that you think of our children. Hadiya Pendleton, Johnyla Watkins are amongst so many others who have lost their lives due to senseless violence. We ask you to RISE UP and assist us in saving our babies.
Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono "embraces his inner nerd" and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight … if we can harness the momentum.
Police in California have arrested a daycare worker for allegedly putting sleeping pills into toddlers' drinks before a scheduled nap time. Officials say 59-year-old Deborah Gratz slipped in Sominex but none of the kids drank it
OAKLAND -- A federal judge made it clear Thursday she won't grant California's bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed by state prisoners challenging the state's use of prolonged isolation -- in some cases decades -- for inmates not convicted of a new crime.
The criminals organization known as the NYPD has just made their 5th millionth unconstitutional Stop and Frisk. Mayor Bloomberg who was worth 5 billion dollars when he was elected mayor in 2001 is now worth 27 billion after claiming he would work for 1 dollar a year.
He is now the chief advocate for gun control which is really a diabolical campaign to abolish the 2nd amendment so all Americans will be forced to be dependent on police who will abuse them as they do to citizens in New York City. The NYPD is now being sued by New Yorkers who have had their 4th amendment right constantly violated by cops that have ticket and arrest quotas that they must meet each month or be penalized or fired.
Police commissioner Raymond Kelly refuses to testify clearly to avoid criminal charges being brought against him for constitutional rights violations. Let us all hope that all the video evidence I and others have recorded proves that Stop and Frisk is no crime fighting tactic but in fact a tool of intimidation, subjugation and abuse used by the state to oppress the population and keep for profit prisons filled to capacity.
A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out the convictions of a woman sentenced to death in the notorious 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son, ruling that the case was tainted by a detective with a history of lying under oath.
On Wednesday night, 46 people were arrested in Brooklyn, New York for protesting the death of 16-year-old Kimani Gray. According to reports, the third consecutive night of demonstrations was sparked by the teen's autopsy and revealed that the NYPD shot the teen a total of seven times, but three of the bullets were in his back. So why isn't this story on national news? Lori Harfenist of The Resident brings us more on how she heard the news on social media.
The family of a New York teenager shot to death by police speak out about the case after a candlelight vigil resulted in 46 arrests. Police say he pointed a revolver at the officers who then fired. His family disputes the teen had a weapon.
Updated story At a vigil held at the site of the fatal shooting of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins Tuesday night, the infant's family and their supporters gathered while the police investigation into her killing continues.
A lot of people are confused when it comes to important facts about the murder of Mario Romero by officers of the Vallejo Police Department. Those who are unfamiliar with proper protocol and are comfortable with hearing the stories of people being shot and killed by police for allegedly possessing
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