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Bruce Lisker ordered released on bail [Updated]

August 11, 2009 | 11:46 am

Lisker A federal judge who last week overturned the murder conviction of Bruce Lisker issued an order today granting him bail, meaning the San Fernando Valley man may be released from prison within days. 

[Updated at 2 p.m.: A previous version of this post said Lisker might be released from prison within hours, but prison officials are now saying they have up to five business days in which to process Lisker out of the system.]

Lisker's attorneys were scrambling to figure out when their client -- who has spent more than 26 years behind bars -- might be released and how to get him from Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Calif., to the Los Angeles area.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said Lisker, 44, should be released "forthwith," and ordered him to appear in her Riverside courtroom on Monday to review the conditions of his release.

Ultimately, Lisker's freedom will be influenced by what government attorneys do next. They could appeal Phillips' ruling overturning Lisker's conviction, retry him for the March 10, 1983, killing of his mother, or drop the case altogether.

A lawyer for the state attorney general's office said Monday that no decision has been made about an appeal. But he said the L.A. County district attorney's office is prepared to retry Lisker on a murder charge.

Lisker's conviction was overturned last week when Phillips concluded that the San Fernando Valley man was prosecuted with "false evidence" and did not receive adequate representation from his defense attorney.

The judge's finding mirrored those of a seven-month Times investigation published in 2005 that raised questions about the prosecution's case against Lisker and exposed the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation into the slaying of his 66-year-old mother, Dorka, as sloppy and incomplete.

--Matt Lait

Here are links to previous Los Angeles Times articles about Lisker:

New Light on a Distant Verdict

Informant's Past Shadows His Testimony From '85 Murder Trial

Jurors Now Fear They Knew Too Little

Judge recommends Lisker's Claim Proceed

Photo: Bruce Lisker. Credit: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times