Conviction Overturned, Lisker Walks Out of Prison

Bruce Lisker, whose 26-year-old murder conviction in the death of his mother was overturned last week, was released from Mule  Creek State Prison near Sacramento Thursday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"This is the best day of my life," said Lisker, according to the Times. "It's just amazing. Absolutely surreal."

Lisker's conviction was voided Friday when U.S. District Judge Virginia  A. Phillips concluded at a hearing in Riverside that the San Fernando Valley  man was prosecuted with "false evidence" and received inadequate counsel.

The finding mirrored those of a seven-month Times investigation  published in 2005 raising questions about the case against Lisker and exposing  the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation of the slaying of his 66-year- old mother, Dorka, as sloppy and incomplete.

Prosecutors have not said whether they would appeal Phillips' ruling,  retry Lisker or drop the case.

On Tuesday, Phillips granted Lisker bail, which was set at $200,000 -- a  sum his supporters have been expected to cover via property bonds.

The judge also directed the California Department of Corrections &  Rehabilitation to release Lisker from Mule Creek State Prison, with conditions:  He must remain in a court-approved residence in Southern California, find  employment or enroll in school, undergo mental health counseling as needed, and  be subject to periodic drug and alcohol testing.

Phillips ordered Lisker to appear for a status hearing at 3:30 p.m.  Monday in federal court in Riverside.

"I think she just wants to personally explain to him ... what she's  expecting of him," Vicki Podberesky, one of Lisker's attorneys, told City News  Service Tuesday.

Lisker has been serving a life sentence for the March 1983 stabbing and  beating death of his mother at her Sherman Oaks home.

In overturning the conviction Friday, Phillips concurred with an opinion  in March by a U.S. magistrate judge, who determined prosecutors used "false  evidence" to convict Lisker.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky also found that Lisker's defense  lawyer, now a court commissioner, performed poorly during the trial, depriving  the defendant of his constitutional right to effective counsel.

Dorka Lisker was beaten and stabbed and died on the floor of her home.  Her then-17-year-old son reported finding her body when he went to the house to borrow a tool.

Prosecutors said Lisker could not have seen his mother on the floor, that he had his mother's blood on his clothes, that he confessed to a jailhouse informant and his bloody shoe prints were the only prints found at the scene.

The Times investigation found he could have seen his mother through the  window, the blood could have gotten on his clothes when he went to her aid and  the snitch was unreliable.

The investigation also found that a bloody print located in the house  was not made by Lisker's shoes but appeared to match an apparent shoe  impression on the woman's head.

The attorney general, who is now handling the case, noted that Lisker  had confessed while trying to get a plea deal and while seeking parole, but  Zarefsky ruled the confessions were "self-serving when they were made and  unaccompanied by verifying details."

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