A death row inmate is breathing a sigh of relief after a Sacramento judge overturned his death penalty.

Larry Junior Webster is off death row after U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that his counsel was ineffective during the penalty phases of the trial. 

Karlton says Webster was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to "effective assistance of counsel" because of his lawyer's failed effort to investigate and reduce his sentencing.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office has 90-days to call for a retrial of the penalty phase. 

The judge's decision does not overturn the guilty verdict.

Webster had been on death row for 33 years after being convicted of stabbing a man to death on a bank of the American River and stealing his car.