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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:48 PM

justice served but still denied

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/jerry-hartfield-texas-inmate-retrial_n_2404738.html


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield's murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, and on March 15, 1983 11 days after the court's second rejection then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield's sentence to life in prison.

At that point, with Hartfield off death row and back in the general prison population, the case became dormant.

"Nothing got filed. They had me thinking my case was on appeal for 27 years," said Hartfield, who is described in court documents as an illiterate fifth-grade dropout with an IQ of 51, but who says he has since learned to read and has become a devout Christian.

A federal judge in Houston recently ruled that Hartfield's conviction and sentence ceased to exist when the appeals court overturned them meaning there was no sentence for White to commute. But Hartfield isn't likely to go free or be retried soon because the state has challenged a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision favorable to Hartfield, arguing he missed a one-year window in which to appeal aspects of his case.
I'm not a lawyer, but if your conviction is overturned are you not supposed to freely walk out the gate instead of just moving from one cell to another?

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