Debra Milke Released Pending New Trial


Debra Milke has been in prison since 1990 for arranging the shooting death of her 4-year-old son.  A detective, Armando Saldate, had testified that she had confessed to him.  She has steadfastly maintained her innocence.

Here is an excerpt from the court’s opinion:  “No civilized system of justice should have to depend on such flimsy evidence, quite possibly tainted by dishonesty or overzealousness, to decide whether to take someone’s life or liberty,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the court.

The court noted four cases in which judges threw out confessions or indictments because (detective) Saldate lied under oath and four instances in which cases were tossed out or confessions excluded because Saldate violated the suspect’s constitutional rights.

He was also suspended for accepting sexual favors from a female motorist he stopped and then lying about the encounter, the court said.

The prosecutor had withheld this information from the defense.

Read the full HuffPost story here.

11 responses to “Debra Milke Released Pending New Trial

  1. This is good news.

    DEBRA MILKE V RYAN 9th Circuit Court Opinion overturning her conviction and sentencing

    Turn to page 54 for Chief Judge Kozinski’s scathing report of Arizona’s justice system. Opinion sent to the DOJ Civil Rights
    Division and the U.S. Federal Attorney for investigation of the Maricopa County Attorney’s office and the Phoenix Police Dept.
    detective Saldate.

  2. “Debra Milke Granted $250K Bond, Bill Montgomery Loses Big-Time” by Stephen Lemons PNT

  3. Camille – THANK YOU for filling in some details. Phil

  4. Past time for something like this to happen in this case. After reading other reports on this, it is surprising that the police officer in question has not been arrested himself for perjury.

  5. “Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Scolded by Debra Milke Judge for Withholding Information” Phoenix New Times

    “Problem is, Montgomery never mentioned this letter before, and prosecutors failed to bring it up in the courtroom, despite plenty of opportunities to mention it.

    Here’s what Mroz’s order says:
    The Court has read an article written by J.J. Hensley in the Arizona Republic regarding a press conference held on September 13, 2013, by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery about this case. The Court was surprised to learn that the State has received a letter from federal prosecutors in late August saying that the statute of limitations had expired on any misconduct by Saldate. The Court has had hearings in this case in which the very issue of whether Detective Saldate is being investigated by the Justice Department and whether he needed to have an attorney was discussed . . .

    If the news article is accurate, then the Court finds it curious that the State did not inform this Court about the federal prosecutors’ letter. The State has had numerous opportunities to inform the Court of this development, including at the September 12, 2013 hearing, which was just the day before the press conference.
    Mroz ordered Montgomery to turn over the letter to the court, and also ordered one of Montgomery’s lackeys to prepare a written explanation as to why prosecutors decided to not mention that, until Montgomery called the press conference — if such a letter exists, Mroz notes.”

  6. Wendy Halloran, CH 12 award-winning investigative reporter covering Debra Milke case.

    Video: Debra Milke in court in civilian clothes for the first time in decades | video

  7. What “Evidence” Really Convicted Debra Milke of Capital Murder?

  8. Pingback: Appeals Court Dismisses Debra Milke Murder Charges | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  9. Pingback: Debra Milke Trial on Hold Pending Appeal | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  10. Pingback: Debra Milke Case — She Remains Free — and IT’S DONE !! | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  11. Pingback: Post Exoneraton Developments in the Debra Milke Case | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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