David Ranta has been in prison since 1991 for the murder of a Brooklyn rabbi in a high-profile city slaying. Ranta is now packing up his cell, however, because prosecutors plan to ask a judge this week to set him free, reports the New York Times. No physical evidence tied Ranta to the killing, and a review of the case strongly suggests that police framed him. Consider a supposed eyewitness, then 13, who recalled that before entering the lineup room, "a police detective told me to 'pick the guy with big nose.'"
Or the girlfriend of a criminal who implicated Ranta: "I made up everything," she says, in order to get her boyfriend a deal. As for Ranta, now 58: "I came in here as a 30-something with kids, a mother who was alive," he says. "This case killed my whole life.” The real killer appears to be a man who has since died in a car accident, at least according to his widow, who knows details of the murder that weren't made public. Click for the full story on the cold case, and how Ranta's defense attorney kept it alive. (Read more cold cases stories.)