Just days before announcing his retirement, an outspoken federal judge has ruled that prosecutors acted vindictively in their efforts to keep a convict behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, who stepped down Jan. 15 after sitting for 14 years on the bench, has taken the unusual step of ordering a new parole hearing for Edward Maddox. Maddox beat a gun charge last year, but remains in jail for allegedly violating parole conditions from an earlier conviction.

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