Homicide

'I don't want to go back': Man fights effort to return him to prison for kin's '89 fire death

  • In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, appears during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, appears during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, speaks during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, speaks during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, appears during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    In this July 1, 2015, photo, Han Tak Lee, who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction, appears during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee’s conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

A New York man who spent 24 years in prison before a judge threw out his arson-murder conviction says he lost all his dreams.

Eighty-year-old Han Tak Lee says the 1989 fire that killed his daughter at a cabin in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains was accidental. Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate Lee's conviction and life sentence, insisting he set the deadly blaze.

Lee's conviction was one of dozens to be called into question amid revolutionary changes in investigators' understanding of arson.

Lee emigrated from South Korea with his wife and daughters and earned U.S. citizenship. He says he's not bitter toward his adopted country, telling The Associated Press, "I love America" and he expects America "to make the right decision."

It's not clear when the court will rule.