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Arizona woman released after decades on death row

September 6, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke, convicted in the 1989 shooting death of her 4-year-old son for an insurance payout, arrives for a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Milke, who has spent more than two decades on death row, is expected to be released on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, while she awaits a retrial of her case. A judge set Milke’s bond at $250,000 a day earlier, saying there’s no direct evidence linking her to her son’s death other than a purported confession to a detective. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman who spent more than two decades on death row was released on bond Friday after a judge ruled there’s no direct evidence linking her to the death of her young son, other than a purported confession to a detective whose honesty has been questioned.

Debra Milke walked out of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s jail after supporters posted $250,000 bond.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her conviction in March, stating that prosecutors should have disclosed information that cast doubt on the credibility of a since-retired detective who said Milke confessed.

The 49-year-old Milke has not been exonerated, but a judge said she could go free while preparing for a new trial in a case that made her one of Arizona’s most reviled inmates.

Milke was convicted in the death of her 4-year-old son, Christopher, who was allegedly killed for a $5,000 insurance payout. His mother was accused of dressing the boy in his favorite outfit in December 1989 and Login to read more

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