Court reverses man’s murder conviction, death sentence

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SALEM (AP) — Oregon’s court of appeals reversed the murder conviction and death sentence of a Black man, saying his defense team failed to interview a key witness who saw a white man fleeing the victim’s home.

Jesse Johnson was accused of stabbing Harriet Thompson, a 28-year-old Black nurse’s aide, to death in her Salem home in 1998.

He has repeatedly claimed innocence and refused a plea deal.

But the decision Wednesday doesn’t mean Johnson will be freed immediately, if at all.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum could appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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