Case tossed vs. woman held 22 years in son’s death

Debra Milke
Debra Milke (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections)

PHOENIX (AP) — An appeals court has ordered that murder charges be dismissed against an Arizona woman who spent 22 years on death row in her son’s death.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the charges against Debra Jean Milke in the 1989 death of her son Christopher can’t be refiled.

A three-judge panel said it agrees with Milke’s argument that a retrial on the charges would amount to double jeopardy.

More than a year ago, a federal appeals court threw out Milke’s conviction because prosecutors knew about a history of misconduct by a detective on the case but failed to disclose it.

The federal court cited multiple rulings in other cases that the detective either lied under oath or violated suspects’ Miranda rights during interrogations.

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