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Another incredible case, courtesy of Texas' shaky legal system
Another incredible case, courtesy of Texas' shaky legal system

Some cases have no easy solutions. A Texas judge last week set a September date for the retrial of a man sentenced to death in 1977 after being convicted of killing a woman at a bus station, a conviction that was overturned in 1980 because of problems with how the jury had been assembled. The state appealed that decision unsuccessfully, and in 1983, Gov. Mark White commuted the death sentence to life in prison. But because there was no valid conviction, there was no valid death sentence to commute. The state never got around to scheduling a new trial. And there Jerry Hartfield, 58, a no-longer-convicted murderer, has sat for more than three decades. Several issues intersect here....

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