The state said last month that the statute of limitations on Lisker’s appeal ran out seven years before he filed it, and said the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that inmates should not be allowed to file late petitions no matter what proof of evidence they think they might have.
But in a 15-page decision obtained Friday by the Los Angeles Times, Phillips said the state should have appealed her ruling last year when they had a legal opportunity and rejected the motion, calling it “fatally flawed.
Lisker told the Times he was “relieved.”
“Justice has won for another day,” he said.
The Attorney General’s office said attorneys are reviewing the ruling and have not decided whether to appeal, but Chief Deputy Attorney General James Humes had said his office was considering withdrawing the ruling even before Friday’s ruling.
Lisker, who was 17 when his mother was killed, served 26 years and 5 months in prison.
He claimed he showed up at her house, saw her on the floor through a window, broke in and tried to help her.
Prosecutors contended it was impossible to see her through the window and claimed a bloody shoe print at the scene belonged to Lisker. A Times investigation in 2005 said a new analysis of the print showed it actually belonged to his friend, Mike Ryan, who had a false alibi and a history of violence.
Ryan has since committed suicide.
Lisker confessed to the murder in prison, but later said it was only in hopes of getting parole or a plea deal, and authorities said his confessions lacked verifying details.
After he was freed, the attorney general could have appealed, but chose instead to send the case back to the Los Angeles County district attorney for possible retrial. Prosecutors decided against another trial because so much evidence had been destroyed.
Source: Mercury News