Judge Says Virginia Cannot Retry Former Death-Row Inmate

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A federal judge is barring Virginia prosecutors from retrying an alleged drug dealer whose original murder-for-hire conviction was overturned.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk on Wednesday said the state failed to retry Justin Wolfe within the required time period. He ordered Wolfe freed within 10 days.

Wolfe was convicted in 2002 and sent to death row. But last year Jackson had overturned the conviction, ruling that Prince William County prosecutors hid evidence that would have undermined their case. He ordered that Wolfe be retried within 120 days.

At a hearing earlier this month, Wolfe's attorneys said that time has run out. A state attorney argued that prosecutors were in compliance because the clock didn't start until after a federal appeals court sent the case back to state court.

 

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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