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Federal Hearing On "Death Row Debbie" Milke's Big Appeal Postponed

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We've been getting a bunch of emails from folks inquiring about the status of the Deborah Milke murder case. When we last wrote about the infamous case involving the mom convicted of orchestrating the murder of her 4-year-old son (she supposedly sent him "off to see Santa Claus"), we noted that a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously had ordered a federal judge in Phoenix to conduct a critical evidentiary hearing within 60 days.

That order came on September 29, and the Phoenix hearing was scheduled to start November 16. People have been wondering if we are going to be there, and the answer is yes.

But everyone will have to wait a bit longer.

At the request of Milke's attorneys, the big hearing has been postponed for another 45 days, which probably will move it to early January.

The federal appellate panel stunningly concluded that there is "no evidence" that Milke (pictured) "voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently" waived her Miranda warning against self-incrimination before allegedly confessing to a Phoenix police detective back in December 1989.


If Judge Robert Broomfield agrees with the appellate panel, he is likely to toss out Milke's confession. That could lead to a retrial and, potentially, her freedom after almost two decades on Arizona's death row.

For readers unfamiliar with the Milke case--which was one of the Valley's biggies at the beginning of the 1990s--here's a primer, a New Times story written at the time. And here's another.



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