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California man exonerated after 32 years in prison

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A man from California was acquitted after 32 years in prison


A California man who spent more than three decades behind bars for a failed murder was acquitted of the crime on Monday, paving the way for his release, officials said. Joaquin Ciria, now 61, was arrested in 1990 and sentenced to death by firing squad in San Francisco on the basis of false testimony and police misconduct, said San Francisco prosecutor Chesa Boudin, who dismissed the case against C on Monday after a judge overturned his sentence. The Ciria case marked the first acquittal requested by the District. “Thirty-two years ago, you were taken away from your wife and baby because your system failed miserably,” said Lara Bazelon. said during a press conference with Boudin and members of Ciria’s family. “Now finally, you have the opportunity to get your life back.” Ciria was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Felix Bastarrica, who was shot in the head after an altercation in The Alley of San Francisco. An 18-month investigation by the commission found new witnesses and evidence and found “a cascade of errors” in the way the case was handled, including police coercion of the key witness, who was a teenager at the time, said Bazelon, a professor at the University Law School. of San Francisco. “There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no murder weapon ever found,” he said, adding that Ciria had always claimed his innocence and had two alien witnesses who said he was home at the time of the murder but were never called in to defend him. probably because they only spoke Spanish. “If a juror had heard this case today, he would not have been convicted.” The timing of Ciria’s release was not immediately known, Boudin’s office said. “Mr Ciria has been in prison for more than 30 years for a crime he did not commit,” Boudin said.

A California man who spent more than three decades behind bars for a failed murder was acquitted of the crime on Monday, paving the way for his release, officials said.

Joaquin Ciria, now 61, was arrested in 1990 and sentenced to death by firing squad in San Francisco on the basis of false witness statements and police misconduct, said San Francisco prosecutor Chesa Boudin, who dismissed the case against her. Ciria on Monday after the overthrow of a judge. his belief.

The Ciria case marked the first acquittal by the Prosecutor’s Innocence Committee, which was set up by Boudin in 2020 to look into possible illegal conviction cases.

“Thirty-two years ago, you were taken from your wife and baby, and that’s because your system failed miserably,” Lara Bazelon, chair of the committee, told a news conference with Boudin and members. of the Ciria family. “Now finally, you have the opportunity to take back your life.”

Ciria was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Felix Bastarrica, who was shot in the head after an altercation in a San Francisco alley.

An 18-month investigation by the commission found new witnesses and evidence and found “a cascade of errors” in the way the case was handled, including police coercion of the key witness, who was a teenager at the time, said Bazelon, a law professor. of the University of San Francisco.

“There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no murder weapon ever found,” he said, adding that Ciria had always maintained his innocence and had two alien witnesses who said he was at home at the time of the murder but were never called by the defense. , probably because they only spoke Spanish. “If a juror had heard this case today, he would not have been convicted.”

The time of Ciria’s release was not immediately known, Boudin’s office said.

“Sir. Ciria has been in prison for more than 30 years for a crime he did not commit,” Budin said. “Today we are celebrating the belated justice, but we can not stop working to overturn other unjust convictions.”

California man exonerated after 32 years in prison Source link California man exonerated after 32 years in prison

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