Woman Released After Being On Death Row

Wrongful conviction

What would you do with your first taste of freedom after decades of being on death row?

On this Wednesday, with a heavy heart I bring you another story about an innocent person being put in prison for decades. These stories are all too common. In this particular story, while the defendant hasn’t yet been deemed innocent, she has been released on bail.

It was in December of 1989 when a 25-year-old Arizona resident, Debra Milke’s son was killed. According to the prosecution, she had dressed her four-year-old up in his favorite outfit before and told him he was going to see Santa Claus. Then, she reportedly handed him over to 2 men who took the child to the desert and shot him. The prosecution said that she turned him over for the 5,000 insurance policy. She has been in prison since 1990.

Only recently has it come to attention that the detective who is now retired, said Milke had confessed may have had creditability issues. Here is what the Huffington Post reported,

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her conviction in March, ruling that prosecutors should have disclosed information that cast doubt on the credibility of a now-retired detective who said Milke confessed to being involved in the killing of her 4-year-old son, Christopher.”

Milke has not been exonerated and is now preparing for retrial from her Phoenix-area home after being released on a $250,000 bond. The home and the bond were paid for by her supporters. Many of her supports felt that because she didn’t have enough money, she didn’t have an adequate defense attorney.

Judge Rosa Mroz of Maricopa County Superior Court has scheduled a September 23 hearing. He is prohibiting the prosecution from using the alleged confession during the retrial.

That is the problem isn’t it? Innocent people have gone to jail because they did not have adequate defense. Remember back in June of 2012 when Mike Steinburg of the American Civil Liberties sued the State of Michigan for not providing adequate legal representation to the poor?

Every person deserves a chance to fight for their innocence and freedom. Being convicted of a crime one did not commit and ending up in prison is a punishment no one should have to suffer.

If you know of someone who is facing prison time for something they did not do, please consider having them call The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC at: