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Justices Let Texas Man Imprisoned for 35 Years Remain Free After Long Wait for Trial

Murder Trial

Jerry Hartfield /Michael Graczyk / AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing a Texas man — who was imprisoned for 35 years while waiting for a second murder trial — to remain free.

The justices on Monday rejected the state’s appeal in the case of Jerry Hartfield.

Hartfield was twice convicted of killing a bus ticket saleswoman in Bay City, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. The first conviction and death sentence were overturned in 1980. Hartfield was not tried a second time until 2015.

But a Texas appeals court ruled that the long wait violated Hartfield’s constitutional right to a speedy trial and ordered his case dismissed.

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