The U.S. Supreme Court ruling of two years ago urged his release, and 10 years ago, DNA evidence showed his conviction was an error.
Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said House should have never been tried, that the case was jammed through the system riddled with mistakes and have ordered a new trial. Hopefully, barring some as-of-yet unknown evidence, the state will drop this case.
Presiding Judge Gilbert Merrill spoke about the critical failures and abuses of the justice system in Tennessee:
"The blatant prosecutorial misconduct in this case shows two things," Gilbert S. Merritt, the presiding judge on the panel, said in an interview after the ruling.
"First, the local district attorney in East Tennessee should never have prosecuted House in the first place, but certainly should have released him more than 10 years ago once he received the exculpatory DNA evidence.
"Second, the local district attorneys, rather than the Attorney General or the Governor, exercise almost complete control over the system of criminal justice in Tennessee.
"They are frequently mistaken and frequently abuse their power," Merritt said."
"These gross injustices will continue so long as law enforcement agencies and the Attorney General, the governor and the legislature continue to overlook or countenance this kind of prosecutorial misconduct."
WBIR has more on the story here.
The Tennessean report has links to PDF files of the rulings in this case.
UPDATE: This story is a good example of why the creation of the Tennessee Justice Newladder is most timely. An explanation of the Newsladder reads:
"A new forum dedicated to highlighting the urgent need for criminal justice reform in the Volunteer State. Every day, the 6 million residents of Tennessee depend on a fair and accurate criminal justice system to determine the truth when crimes are committed. Too often, however, the system comes up short for a variety of reasons. The problems include inadequate representation for indigent defendants; excessive caseloads; geographic disparities in the administration of justice; unreliable eyewitness identification; false confessions; jailhouse snitch testimony and more.
An unjust system produces unreliable results."
The Tennessee edition above is a local extension of a national blog, which is explained here on The Huffington Post.