CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — Multiple sclerosis has Paul House in a wheelchair. A tenacious prosecutor has him on death row, deemed too dangerous to be released two years after the U.S. Supreme Court said he likely isn’t guilty.
That closely watched ruling, which made it easier for inmates to get new hearings on DNA evidence that emerges after their trials, and the fallout from it have left House in limbo while a prosecutor methodically battles every effort from the courts to have him retried.
Federal judges have done as the high court ordered: They reviewed his murder case and concluded new evidence raises reasonable doubt about his guilt. Not allowed to overturn the conviction, they took the extraordinary step of giving Tennessee a six-month deadline to bring House to trial or release him.
And still House, 46, is locked up in a Nashville prison.