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Arizona Supreme Court reaffirms doctrine on unsaved evidence

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court is reaffirming a legal doctrine protecting the rights of people accused of crimes.

The court Friday unanimously rejected prosecutors' request to overturn its 1964 ruling that defendants are entitled to have jurors told they can draw inferences critical of the prosecution's case if authorities failed to preserve evidence helpful to the defendant.

Tapes of a police interview with a victim who testified against Robert Charles Glissendorf in a Tucson child molestation case were destroyed years earlier because he wasn't prosecuted right away.

Glissendorf argued that he was entitled to have jurors instructed about the destruction because it hurt his ability to show that the witness' story had changed.

The justices agreed, overturning Glissendorf's convictions and ruling that he's entitled to a new trial.

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