The Los Angeles County District Attorney announced Thursday that a California man who spent 33 years in prison for attempted murder was released after the state reopened the case and determined that he wasn’t involved in the crime.
District Attorney George Gascon announced that Daniel Saldana would be freed after being one of three men accused in a Shooting incident near an high school in 1990.
I know this will not bring back the years you spent in prison. Gascon told a press briefing that he hoped his apology would bring some comfort as he began his new life.
He said: “It is a tragedy that people are forced to prison for crimes they did not commit. But every time an injustice of this magnitude occurs, the true perpetrators continue to commit other criminal acts.”
Saldana, then 22 years old, was arrested for firing a gun into a car with six teenagers in 1990.
He was convicted on six counts of attempted homicide, one count of shooting a vehicle occupied and sentenced to 45 to life years in prison. In connection with the shooting, two other suspects have been charged.
The DA reported that Gascon’s office reopened this case in February, after learning in 2017 from another convicted assailant who told authorities Saldana was “not involved in the shooting at all and he wasn’t present during the event,” according to the DA.
CALIFORNIA TEENS DIES DURING A SOCIAL MEDIA STUNT AT THE 6TH STREET BRIDGE : POLICE
Gascon stated that Saldana’s innocence was declared six years after his testimony.
A former deputy district prosecutor who was at the hearing to hear the testimony of the exonerated attacker was blamed for the delay. The official did “apparently nothing” about the testimony and failed to inform Saldana or his lawyer, as required by the law, according to the DA.
Saldana appeared alongside Gascon during a Thursday press conference, saying that he was grateful for his release.
Saldana told reporters, “It is a struggle to wake up every morning knowing that you are innocent, and yet here I am, locked in a prison cell, begging for help.”
Click Here to Download the FOX News App
He said: “I am so glad that this day has finally come.”
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.