Court overturns convictions of Arizona woman on death rowSubmitted by DeMolay on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 01:34
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.
The ruling marked a surprising turn in a case that made national headlines with the brazen and gruesome nature of the crime. Prosecutors said Debra Jean Milke dressed up her son Christopher in his favorite outfit and told him he was going to see Santa Claus at a mall 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.