The Los Angeles County district attorney said Thursday that a man who spent 33 years in prison for attempted murder has been released. The state reopened the case and found that the man was not involved in the crime.
District Attorney George Gascón said that Daniel Saldana, who was one of three men charged in a 1990 shooting near a high school, would now be free to go.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Man declared innocent of attempted murder after 33 years in California prison https://t.co/bgiKt32k0p
— NewsChannel 9 (@NewsChannel9) May 26, 2023
“I know that this won’t make up for the many years you spent in jail. Gascón said at a press meeting, “I hope that our apology gives you some small comfort as you start your new life.”
He also said, “It’s a tragedy that people are going to prison for crimes they didn’t commit, and every time something like this happens, the real criminals are still out there committing other crimes.”
In 1990, when Saldana was 22 years old, he was arrested for reportedly firing a gun at a car with six teenagers inside.
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He was found guilty of six counts of trying to kill someone and one count of shooting at a car with people in it. He was given a sentence of 45 years to life in state jail. Two more people were arrested and charged with the killing.
Gascón’s office reopened the case in February after learning that another convicted attacker told officials in 2017 that Saldana “was not involved in the shooting in any way, and he was not present during the incident,” the DA said.
Gascón said that Saldana was found not guilty six years after the evidence was given.
The delay was blamed on a former assistant DA who was at the parole meeting where the convicted attacker gave the testimony that cleared him. The official “seems to have done nothing” with the statement and did not tell Saldana or his lawyer about it as the law requires, the DA said.
At a news conference on Thursday, Saldana and Gascón said that Gascón was glad to be free.
Saldana said, “It’s hard to wake up every day knowing you’re innocent while being locked up in a cell and begging for help.”
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