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.