Viral News

California man cleared in shooting and freed after 33 years in prison – Stars Obituary

Wrongly convicted man acquitted after serving 33 years

Wrongly convicted man acquitted after serving 33 years


A California man who served 33 years in prison for attempted murder has been acquitted and released, the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced Thursday.

Daniel Saldana, 55, was convicted in 1990 of shooting a car with six teenagers in it in Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles. Two students were injured but survived.

The attackers mistook the teens for gang members, authorities said.

Saldana was 22 at the time of the shooting and was a full-time construction worker. He is one of three men accused of carrying out the attack. Saldana was convicted of six counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, including life in a state prison.

On Thursday, Saldana appeared at a news conference where he was acquitted, along with District Attorney George Gascone. He said he was delighted to be released.

Daniel Saldana.jpg
Daniel Saldana at a press conference on May 25, 2023.

CBS Los Angeles

“It’s a struggle, waking up every day knowing you’re innocent, while I’m in a cell, crying out for help,” Saldana said, according to Southern California News Corp.

But, “I just knew that one day it would come,” Saldana said. CBS Los Angeles. “I’m grateful. I just thank God.”

Prosecutors said Gascohen’s office learned in February that another convicted assailant told authorities during a 2017 parole hearing that Saldana “was not involved in any way in the shooting and that he was involved in the incident.” We were not there when it happened” and started an investigation.

Gascohen said a former deputy district attorney attended the hearing “but apparently did nothing” and did not share the exculpatory information with Saldana or his attorney as required.

That led to Saldana being sentenced to another six years in prison before the district attorney’s office reopened the case and declared him not guilty, Gascohen said.

The district attorney offered no other details about the case, but he apologized to Saldana and his family.

“I know it’s not going to bring you back the decades you endured in prison,” he said. “But I hope our apology brings you some comfort as you begin your new life.”

Gascón added: “It’s not only the tragedy of putting people in jail for crimes they didn’t commit, but every time such a gross injustice happens, the real people are still out there committing other crimes.”

Despite being disappointed that the information took so long to reach his office, Gascohen emphasized the importance of justice being served eventually, CBS Los Angeles noted.

“As prosecutors, our role is not just to secure a conviction, but to seek justice,” he said in a statement. “When someone is wrongly convicted, it is a failure of our justice system and we have a duty to right that wrong. We have an obligation to deliver justice to wrongly convicted individuals and the public.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button