Man wins release after judge tosses murder conviction from 1989 fire that killed daughter

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SCRANTON, Pennsylvania — A New York City man who has spent 24 years in prison for setting a fire that killed his daughter will be released from custody while prosecutors decide whether to retry him.

U.S. District Judge William Nealon on Tuesday granted 79-year-old Han Tak Lee's request to be released from prison. The judge has already thrown out Lee's state conviction and life-without-parole sentence, ruling that it was based on now-discredited arson science.

Nealon says a magistrate judge will decide the conditions of Lee's release.

Lee has argued the fire that killed 20-year-old Ji Yun Lee at a retreat in the Pocono Mountains was accidental. An appeals court granted his request for an independent examination of the evidence. That review concluded the science underpinning the case has been debunked.

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