A New York man convicted of setting a fire at a religious retreat in the Poconos that claimed the life of his 20-year-old mentally ill daughter more than 25 years ago will walk out of prison today.
Han Tak Lee’s arson conviction was dismissed last week by a federal judge based on advances in science. Lee, 79, has been serving a life sentence since 1990.
reported that Lee is due to be released from a state prison in rural central Pennsylvania then driven by a longtime supporter to the federal courthouse in Harrisburg for a hearing to determine the conditions of his release. He is expected to be greeted by friends, family members and supporters at the courthouse.
Although prosecutors have conceded the arson science used to convict Lee was faulty, they have said they probably will appeal last week’s dismissal based on other evidence that points to Lee’s guilt. Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine Jr., who prosecuted Lee in 1990, could seek to prosecute Lee again if he loses the appeal but acknowledged it would be very difficult given the passage of time. Lee is a client of the
Pennsylvania Innocence Project