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Jerry Hartfield's murder conviction was overturned in 1983, and Texas' governor commuted his death sentence to life in prison 11 days later.
Hartfield's case didn't receive more attention until 2006, when he filed a handwritten motion saying his constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated because he hadn't been retried.
A new trial doesn't seem close. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court sent his case back to the state appeals court, where it is likely to be tied up longer.