An American has been released from prison after spending the last 33 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, and had to wait 6 years for new evidence to prove his innocence be investigated.
Daniel Saldana was sentenced to 45 years in prison in 1989 after being found guilty of attempted murder after bullets were fired at six high school students believed to be street gang members, according to a statement from the office of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón.
Two other men had also been jailed for the same incident.
New evidence that surfaced in 2017 was finally investigated earlier this year, leading to his release on Thursday.
♬ original sound – LA County District Attorney
During a parole hearing for another inmate involved in the incident, Raul Vidal, six years ago, new documents surfaced proving that Mr Saldana was not present at the scene during the incident.
“This is information that clearly exonerates him and that the prosecutor’s office was supposed to send to Mr. Saldana, but did not, tells CNN, George Gascon. This failure to investigate this new evidence in 2017 cost him 6 more years in prison.”
For his part, Daniel Saldana said he was relieved to finally be released.
< p> “I never lost hope,” he said in an interview with CNN. I'm 100% innocent and I've been saying this since day 1. I knew one day it was going to happen, and I'm just so grateful and thanking God, Jesus.”
In the State of California, where he was imprisoned, he will be entitled to financial compensation for time spent behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
This amount does not has not yet been determined.