Crime

Arizona Woman on Death Row to Be Released, Retried

Accused of killing son, but no evidence other than testimony of detective whose honesty is in doubt

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An Arizona woman who has spent more than two decades on death row awaited her release Friday, a day after a judge ruled that there was no direct evidence linking her to her son's death other than a purported confession to a detective whose honesty has been questioned.

Debra Milke has not been exonerated, but a judge granted her a $250,000 bond Thursday, meaning she could go free while preparing for a new trial in the case that made her one of Arizona's most reviled inmates.

Milke was convicted in the death of her 4-year-old son, Christopher, who was allegedly killed for a $5,000 insurance payout. His mother was accused of dressing the boy in his favorite outfit in December 1989 and telling him he was going to see Santa Claus at a mall before handing him over to two men who took the child into the desert and shot him. She has been imprisoned since 1990.