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A pawn in a legal chess match

Dec 16, 2010 3:00:00 AM - latimes.com
Shirley Ree Smith spent 10 years behind bars for the death of her grandson before her conviction was overturned. Now she waits on skid row as the courts sort out whether a jury's verdict—even if wrong—must prevail.

From a second-floor room in skid row's Russ Hotel, Shirley Ree Smith spends sleepless nights listening to the knife fights and profanity-laced taunts of the drug dealers, pimps and brawlers who populate South San Julian Street.

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