California man who served 33 years behind bars freed after state determines he is innocent

A California man who spent 33 years behind bars for attempted murder has been freed after the state agreed to reopen his case and plead not guilty. Los Angeles County The district attorney announced Thursday.

District Attorney George Gascon said Daniel Saldana, 55, will be allowed to walk free now that he was one of three men The shooting incident Near a high school in 1990.

“I know it won’t bring you back the decades you spent in prison. But I hope our pardon gives you some peace as you start your new life,” Gascon said at a press conference. will.”

He added: “Not only is it a tragedy that people are forced to commit a crime they did not commit, but whenever there is such an injustice, the people responsible are still committing other crimes. are out.”

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In this undated photo provided by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, Daniel Saldana waves. Saldana, who spent 33 years in a California prison on charges of attempted murder, has been declared innocent and released. (Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

Saldana was arrested in 1990, when he was 22, for allegedly firing a gun at a car containing six teenagers.

He was convicted of six counts of attempted murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and sentenced to 45 years to life in state prison. Two other suspects were charged in connection with the shooting.

The DA said Gascon’s office reopened the case in February after learning that another convicted assailant told authorities in 2017 that Saldana “was not involved in the shooting in any way, and that he was not involved in the incident.” Duran was not there.”

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Six years after providing testimony, Saldana was declared innocent, Gaskin said.

Daniel Saldana, George Gaskin

This undated photo provided by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office shows Daniel Saldana, right, shaking hands with Los Angeles District Attorney George Gaskin, right. Saldana’s attorney, Mike Romano, is in the middle. (Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

The reason for the delay is a former deputy district attorney who was present at the parole hearing where the convicted assailant gave exculpatory testimony. The DA said the official “did apparently nothing” with the testimony, failing to notify Saldana or her attorney, as required by law.

Saldana appeared. With Gascón He said at a press conference on Thursday that he was grateful to be released.

“It’s a struggle, waking up every day knowing you’re innocent and here I am in a cell, crying for help,” Saldana said.

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Saldana is running.

This undated photo, provided by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, shows Daniel Saldana, right, his attorney Mike Romano, center, and fellow executor Frankie Carrillo, back left. (Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

He added: “I am very happy that this day has come.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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