Court rejects bid to retry former Arizona death row inmate

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In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File) In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
PHOENIX (AP) -

Arizona's highest court has rejected a bid to retry a woman who spent 22 years on death row for killing her 4-year-old son but whose conviction was overturned.

The decision Tuesday by the Arizona Supreme Court leaves prosecutors with dwindling options in the case against Debra Milke in her son Christopher's 1989 death. The ruling moves the courts one step closer to permanently dismissing her case.

Milke's conviction was thrown out two years ago by a federal appeals court that ruled prosecutors failed to disclose a history of misconduct by the case's investigator.

Authorities have sought a retrial while Milke has remained free on bond since September 2013.

"The denial of our petition for review is a dark day for Arizona's criminal justice system," County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a prepared statement. "By refusing to review the Arizona Court of Appeals' unprecedented expansion of double jeopardy and adopting the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's misconstruction of the case history, aided and abetted by selective citations to the record by the Defendant, the Arizona Supreme Court has deprived crime victims, particularly Christopher Milke, of their rights to fairness, due process and justice."

Prosecutors insist Milke is guilty in her son's death. Milke maintains that she's innocent.

Click here for more stories about Debra Milke.

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