Texas inmate awaiting ordered retrial since 1980

01/04/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Gatesville, Texas – A Texas inmate who was ordered to be retried in 1980 is still awaiting retrial. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Jerry Hartfield’s murder conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals four years after being sentenced to death row for a 1976 robbery and killing, for which he maintains his innocence.

Hartfield’s sentence was commuted to life after failed attempts to get a court to re-examine the initial ruling.

Hartfield, 56, is quoted by the AP as stating of his expectations after being moved off of death row, “A sergeant told me to pack my stuff and I wouldn’t return. I’ve been waiting ever since for that new trial.”

The state reportedly has now challenged a decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is favorable to Hartfield.

Kenneth R. Hawk II, Hartfield’s attorney is quoted in the report as stating of the case, “When you see it, it’s kind of breathtaking… It was [a] tough story for him so far and it’s not over yet. … The bottom line is the commutation came after a mandate was issued. It wasn’t valid and it’s time for him to get a new trial.”

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