United States District Judge Keith Ellison vacated the murder convictions of Ronald Jeffrey Prible and ordered Texas to either retry him within 180 days or release him.
Prosecutors were accused of illicitly suppressing evidence, including evidence that a jail house snitch had been coached by the prosecution and offered leniency in return for his testimony against Prible.
The snitch’s testimony was the centerpiece of the prosecution’s case and had the defense been able to impeach his testimony, Prible might have been acquitted.
Prosecutorial misconduct is reason enough by itself to vacate a capital conviction. The fact that the misconduct likely changed the outcome makes this ruling 100% correct.
The crime occurred in 1999 and his conviction occurred in 2002. So a retrial will be tough to arrange.
Prible might be walking free in a few months.