Case of Wrongfully Convicted Man Could Be Headed Back to Riverside

A federal judge in Riverside who freed a man from prison after finding that questionable evidence was used to convict him of murdering his mother could be asked to return the man to prison.
Bruce Lisker, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for the 1983 of fatally beating and stabbing his 66-year-old mother, Dorka, at her Sherman Oaks home. He was 17 years old at the time and using drugs.
A Los Angeles Times investigation in 2005 called into question much of the evidence in his trial, and his conviction was overturned in August 2009 by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of Riverside, who upheld a lower court's ruling that false evidence had been used and that the defendant had inadequate legal representation.
Lisker was released from Mule Creek State Prison near Sacramento on Aug. 13, 2009.
Phillips allowed him to remain free on bail until the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided whether it wanted to retry the case.
Prosecutors eventually determined that with witnesses dead and evidence long gone, there was no point to a retrial, and his bail was exonerated.
But Deputy Attorney General Robert David Breton filed court papers late Wednesday asking that Lisker be returned to prison because he missed a filing deadline seeking release.
In the filing, Attorney General Jerry Brown's office argued that Lisker should go back to prison because an appeals court recently ruled in another case that inmates should not be allowed to file petitions late, even if they can prove their innocence. The filing did not dispute Lisker's innocence.
The new filing asked that Phillips take up the matter Oct. 4 at a hearing in Riverside.
However, this afternoon, Attorney General's Office spokesman Jim Finefrock said the decision to file the motion was being reconsidered by
prosecutors. He issued a statement that said, ``Chief Deputy Attorney General James Humes said today that he is reviewing the filing of a motion in U.S. District Court yesterday by the Attorney General's Office in the case of Bruce Lisker, whose murder conviction was overturned last year by a federal judge. The case has elicited widespread attention.
``Humes said he would look at all the circumstances involved in Lisker's case.''
Brown is running for governor.
Lisker's attorney, William Genego, called the effort to send his client back to prison ``unfair and too late.''
``We are surprised the A.G. would go to this extreme to put Bruce back in prison,'' he said.
Genego said Lisker had been doing well ``until yesterday. This has hit him like a ton of bricks.''
Last December, Lisker sued several Los Angeles police detectives he accuses of framing him, alleging his civil rights were violated by the city of Los Angeles, the LAPD and the detectives who investigated the 1983 murder.
Asked whether there may be some link between Lisker's lawsuit and Brown's court action, Genego said, ``It wouldn't surprise me.''

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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