www.huffingtonpost.com Submit this story diggredditstumble In a 2-1 ruling today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of former Waterproof mayor Bobby Higginbotham, and vacated his sentence. The case had attracted the attention of civil rights activists around the U.S., as well as Color of Change, a national racial justice activism group, who had gathered 50,000 signatures appealing for freedom for the former mayor. The ruling gives ammunition to defenders of Higginbotham, who said he was an innocent man being prosecuted for standing up against the white power structure of Tensas Parish and convicted in an unfair trial. However, the ruling by the Court of Appeals did not address the substance of the charges against Higginbotham, but focused on irregularities in the trial. The main reason cited was missing transcripts from the trial, caused by apparent problems with a sound recorder used by the court reporter. According to Higginbotham attorney Rachel Conner, there is no transcript at all for at least two witnesses' testimonies. The former mayor was released from jail in December because of good behavior, but today's judgment means he is no longer on parole and no longer owes restitution. The DA has the option to appeal this ruling to a higher court.... .