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This Man is Still in Prison 35 Years After a Judge Overturned His Conviction

Way back in 1980, a court overturned Jerry Hartfield’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial. But today, 35 years later, Hartfield is still behind bars. Three years after his sentence was overturned, then-Texas Governor Mark White commuted his death sentence to a life sentence, despite the fact that the conviction had been overturned. Hartfield, who is estimated to have an IQ of 51, wasn’t aware that his case should have been retried until a fellow inmate informed him in 2006. He filed for a retrial and started working on his case with a state-appointed attorney. Two years ago, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said the life sentence wasn’t valid, but prosecutors still intended to retry him and he stayed in prison. A judge argued that Hartfield did not take the steps to ask for a new trial, but others have argued that the state violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial. Despite the court’s ruling on the case, Hartfield is still awaiting his new trial. In an interview with the Associated Press, he explained that he had become a Christian in prison, and that “being a God-fearing person, He doesn’t allow me to be bitter. He allows me to be forgiving” …

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