Bruce Lisker Conviction Overturned

Bump and Update: The judge has decided to order Lisker released on bond pending the DA's decision on whether to retry him.


Original Post Sunday 8/9/09

In 2005, the LA Times published a 15 page online report on the conviction of Bruce Lisker. Lisker, at age 17 was charged with killing his mother. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. I wrote about it here and TChris wrote about it in 2008 here.


In March, a U.S. Magistrate Judge issued a report recommending Lisker's convictions be overturned. On Friday, a federal judge in Los Angeles agreed and ruled Lisker, now 44, had been convicted on false evidence and not received effective assistance of counsel. Judge Virginia Phillips vacated his conviction, ruling he must either be retried or freed.

A bond hearing will be held Monday to determine if Lisker is released pending the DA's decision on an appeal or retrial.

More informaton on the case is available on Lisker's website, Free Bruce.

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    What if he is released pending retrial/appeal? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Romberry on Sun Aug 09, 2009 at 06:23:50 AM EST
    I must have not been reading TalkLeft regularly back when this case was first mentioned. If I had been, I doubt the name and general facts would have slipped my mind.

    I just read through all fourteen pages of the LA Times story and come away feeling that while the young Bruce Lisker was no angel, there is far more than reasonable doubt concerning his guilt. Monsue's discredited letter to the parole board (PDF) smacks, if not of a dirty cop, at least a cop who doesn't like to admit the possibility that he may be wrong and is willing to lie (perhaps even to himself) in order to foreclose such a possibility even being considered.

    My opening question (What if Lisker is released pending possible retrial or appeal?) is not a question based on the idea that he is guilty or represents some intolerable risk to society. It's a question of what happens as a practical matter, i.e. how does someone in this situation find a place to live, pay their bills and just generally live/get along day to day with this matter both in their past and continuing to hang over their heads?

    To a large extent, those same questions apply to anyone who has spent years incarcerated. (I tend to believe that much recidivism is the result of former inmates not being able to get a fresh start once released, effectively relegated to poor jobs and hope-sapping poverty outside of prison.)

    The potential culprit pointed to in the LA Times article is dead and if he was in fact the murderer, no justice is possible. It seems that this was a sloppy and perhaps intentionally tainted ("Hey, he's the guy! Why waste time looking at any facts that say otherwise?") investigation. I hope that there is, if not a happy ending, at least a fair and just ending.

    Good luck to Bruce Lisker.

    Bail granted (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:46:52 PM EST
    The judge granted Lisker bail today (Monday, 8/10)!  Congratulations to my dear friend, Bill Genego, a fantastic lawyer, on a tremendous victory for justice.