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Archive for Friday, December 28, 2007

Man freed 17 years after conviction for murder

December 28, 2007

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— A man found guilty 17 years ago of murdering his parents as a teenager was freed from prison Thursday, days after an appeals court overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial because of new evidence.

Martin Tankleff, 36, was released on $1 million bail and thanked his friends, supporters and witnesses who came forward "because it was the right thing to do."

An appeals court threw out Tankleff's 1990 conviction last week, saying new evidence suggested someone else might have killed Seymour and Arlene Tankleff in their Long Island home.

Tankleff was 17 when his parents were bludgeoned and stabbed in their house in 1988. After a detective falsely told the teen his father had awakened from a coma and implicated him, Tankleff confessed to the crimes. But he quickly withdrew the confession, refusing to sign a statement police had prepared.

He was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison after being convicted in one of the nation's first televised trials.

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