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Debra Milke has emotional reunion with ailing mother

PHOENIX — A woman who spent more than two decades on Arizona’s death row
before being released pending her retrial has had an emotional reunion with her
cancer-stricken mother.

Debra Milke’s lawyers released a picture Tuesday of her hugging Renate Janka
for the first time in nearly 25 years. Death row prisoners aren’t permitted to
have physical contact with visitors.

Janka flew from Germany to Phoenix on Sunday evening to be with Milke, who was
released Friday after supporters posted her $250,000 bond.

A judge ruled there’s no direct evidence linking Milke to the 1989 death of her
4-year-old son, other than a purported confession to a detective whose honesty
has been questioned.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Milke’s conviction in March.
Her next court date is Sept. 23.


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