As CNN recently reported, after 22 years on death row, Debra Milke is close to freedom .
In 1990, a jury convicted the Arizona woman, now 49, of murdering her 4 year old son. She was sentenced to death.
“The Constitution requires a fair trial,” Kozinski wrote. “This never happened in Milke’s case.”
Milke’s son, Christopher, wanted to go to the mall to see Santa Claus. So, according to Milke, the plan was for her roommate, James Styers to take the young boy to the mall. Instead, Styers picked up a friend and drove the boy out to a secluded area, where they shot him three times. Styers was convicted and sentenced to death.
The crucial evidence against Milke was a detective’s testimony that the friend had told him Milke was involved. The detective also testified that when he questioned Milke, she confessed that her involvement in the murder was a “bad judgment call.” However, the interrogation was not taped and no one else was present to hear this alleged confession. No other witness or direct evidence linked Milke to the murder. The jury believed the detective and convicted Milke.