NOS News•today, 02:40
A man from the US state of California has been wrongfully imprisoned for 33 years. Daniel Saldana, 55, was convicted of attempted murder in 1990, but turned out to be innocent. He has been released, the Los Angeles Justice Department said.
Saldana was convicted of shooting at a car containing six teenagers. Two of them were injured, but survived. The gunmen had mistakenly mistaken the teens for gang members.
Saldana, a construction worker at the time, was one of the accused and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for six counts of attempted murder and shooting at a vehicle.
Justice started an investigation into the case when the public prosecutor got wind of an exculpatory statement from another convict in the case. He had said during an interrogation in 2017 that Saldana was “in no way” involved in the case and was not at the scene of the shooting incident.
A former prosecutor had heard that at the time, but had not shared the exculpatory information with Saldana, his lawyer or with the regional prosecutor’s office.
It was not until February this year that the report of the 2017 interrogation finally reached the Los Angeles area prosecutor’s office and it soon turned out that Saldana had nothing to do with the case. “It’s horrible to get up every day and know you’re innocent, but you’re still trapped,” Saldana said, according to US media. “I’m so glad this day has come.”
Regional prosecutor George Gascón has apologized. “It’s not just a tragedy to put people in jail for a crime they didn’t commit,” he says. “Each time this injustice happens, those really responsible are still walking free to commit more crimes.”
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