PROSECUTORS WON'T RETRY MAN IN REPRESSED-MEMORY CASE.
A man convicted of a 20-year-old murder based on the repressed-memory testimony of his daughter will not be retried, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
San Mateo County prosecutors had planned to retry George Franklin Sr. after his conviction was overturned by federal courts. But disclosures since the trial have virtually ruled out testimony by Franklin's daughter, a former Canoga Park resident.
Eileen Franklin's sister testified last month that both sisters had been hypnotized by a therapist before the trial. That claim, if true, would bar Eileen's testimony under state law.
District Attorney James Fox also said recent DNA tests had cleared George Franklin of a second murder that Eileen had accused him of committing.
``It just creates a case where we don't believe we're going to be able to meet our burden of proof,'' the district attorney said.
Defense lawyer Douglas Horngrad said he was surprised by the announcement but believed it should have been made earlier.
``I'm relieved that George is going to be released from custody for a crime he didn't commit, but I'm disappointed that the system failed,'' Horngrad told the San Mateo County Times from Idaho, where he was vacationing.
Franklin is scheduled to be released today after prosecutors formally ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Franklin, 57, a retired firefighter, was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to life in prison for the 1969 murder of 8-year-old Susan Nason.
The murder went unsolved for 20 years. In 1989, Eileen Franklin told police she had been looking into the eyes of her own young daughter and suddenly remembered seeing her father raise a rock over her playmate's head.
Eileen became the chief prosecution witness against her father, the first person known to be convicted based on repressed-memory testimony.