Ex-Lifer Back on Track for Release Amid Old Shoplifting Case

A Pennsylvania man who earned a reprieve from a life sentence only to be held on a long-ago Delaware County shoplifting charge is back on track to be released. David Sheppard’s case has become something of a political football in the debate over criminal justice reform and victims’ rights.

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf approved his clemency bid after a unanimous vote of the five-member state pardons board. But outgoing Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, a Republican, detained him hours before his release Friday on the decades-old shoplifting charge.

Sheppard spent another weekend in state prison before Copeland’s office declined to seek bail at a hearing Monday on the shoplifting charge, which involved several pairs of jeans taken from a now-defunct store, defense lawyer Max Orenstein said. The case will now be handled in January by a new prosecutor skeptical of pursuing the case. Orenstein said he expects his 54-year-old client, who has served 27 years in prison for his role in a fatal 1992 robbery, to be released to a… The Philadelphia Inquirer

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