By John Ensor • 26 May 2023 • 15:12
Not guilty verdict.
Credit: Juan Ci/Shutterstock.com
An innocent man who spent more than half of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit is now free.
On Thursday, May 25, 55-year-old Daniel Saldana was set free after being locked up for 33 years for the attempted murder of a group of six high school students, writes The New York Post.
The incident happened in 1989 when a group of six students were shot at by someone who is thought to have mistaken them for rival gang members. Two students were injured but survived.
Three men were arrested, Saldana, Raul Vidal and April Gallegos, all were convicted of six counts of attempted murder.
Mr Saldana, a construction worker was just 22 years old at the time when he was sentenced to 45 years to life in jail. He always maintained his innocence and claimed he was never there.
In 2017 one of the convicted men, Raul Vidal, said that Saldana ‘was not involved in the shooting in any way and he was not present during the incident.’
That information was not made known to Mr Saldana or his legal representative which resulted in him spending another six years behind bars.
Following Mr Saldana’s exoneration, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón addressed him: ‘I know that this won’t bring you back the decades you endured in prison. But I hope our apology brings some small comfort to you as you begin your new life.
The last word goes to Daniel Saldana: ‘Just every day waking up knowing that you’re innocent. You wake up and here I am, just locked up in a cell and crying out for help and not knowing the legal system or having the resources or money or anything like that. But I just knew this day was going to come.’
At this stage no mention of compensation has been made from Los Angeles or Californian authorities for the travesty of justice.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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