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DURHAM, N.C.-- A North Carolina judge is considering bail for a man imprisoned 20 years after a double murder conviction marked by misconduct by Durham police and the prosecutor disbarred after the Duke lacrosse case.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson said Friday he intends to free 52-year-old Darryl Howard on unsecured bond unless he's blocked by a prosecution appeal to a state appeals court.

Howard ruled in May there was no physical evidence connecting Howard to the drug-related 1991 deaths of a woman and her 13-year-old daughter. He ordered a new trial. Hudson called the case against Howard by former Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong "horrendous." Key evidence that the two victims were raped was withheld from defense attorneys.

New DNA tests implicate another suspect.

Howard was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

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