"Citing 'miscarriage of justice,' U.S. judge overturns Phila. murder conviction," is by John P. Martin for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's an extended excerpt from the beginning:
A federal judge on Wednesday overturned the 1992 conviction of a Philadelphia man she said had been unjustly sentenced to die for a murder he probably didn't commit.
In a scathing ruling, Judge Anita B. Brody said city police and prosecutors ignored, lost or "covered up" evidence that James "Jimmy" Dennis wasn't the man who fatally shot a high school student for her gold earrings near the Fern Rock transit station in 1991.
The judge also chided Dennis' trial lawyer for ignoring leads and doing just the "bare minimum" to defend him.
"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has committed a grave miscarriage of justice," Brody concluded in her 40-page opinion. She ordered the state to retry Dennis within six months - or set him free.
The ruling marks a stunning victory in a 20-year-legal battle for Dennis, now 42, who has always maintained his innocence and whose cause drew supporters worldwide, even as he lost appeal after appeal.
For most of the past two decades, Dennis has remained on death row at the State Correctional Institute in Waynesburg. In March 2011, Gov. Corbett signed his death warrant. But a federal judge later stayed the execution.
The killing of Chedell Ray Williams, a 17-year-old Olney High School student, for a $450 pair of earrings outraged city officials, and drew a spotlight to what had been a surge in violence over jewelry. In Williams' memory, area high schools organized a "No Gold Day," encouraging staff and students to leave their gold jewelry at home.
According to witnesses, two men had approached the girl on the day of the killing, and then fled in a car with a third man.
But Dennis, then a 21-year-old aspiring singer, was the only suspect ever arrested or charged in the case. He claimed he was taking a SEPTA bus from his father's home at the time of the killing, an alibi later corroborated by another bus rider.
Police never recovered a weapon or the earrings, and developed no forensic evidence tying Dennis to the scene. Instead, he was convicted largely on the testimony of three eyewitnesses to the killing.
"PA man on death row for 21 years wins new trial," is AP coverage by Maryclaire Dale, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
A federal judge says a Philadelphia man on death row for 21 years was convicted on "scant evidence," and has overturned his conviction for killing a teen girl for her earrings.
She has ordered Dennis to be released from prison unless prosecutors retry him within six months. A spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office says they are reviewing Wednesday's ruling.
Earlier coverage from Philadelphia begins at the link. It's too early to call it an official exoneration, but in time, the Dennis case will likely wind up in the death row exoneration column.