A man has been released from a California prison after spending 33 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Daniel Saldana, 55, was left to languish in prison following his wrongful murder conviction in 1990 on six attempted murder counts.
But on Thursday, he was joined at a press conference by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who publicly cleared Saldana's name.
Saldana got emotional while addressing reporters. "I just knew that one day, this was going to come," Saldana said. "I'm just so grateful."
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Saldana was one of three men accused in 1989 of opening fire on six teenagers leaving a high school football game in Baldwin Park.
Two of the students were wounded but survived. Investigators believe the real gunmen mistook the teens for rival gang members.
"As prosecutors, our duty is not simply to secure convictions but to seek justice,"said Gascón. "When someone is wrongfully convicted, it is a failure of our justice system and it is our responsibility to right that wrong. We owe it to the individual who was wrongfully convicted and to the public that justice is served."
Saldana was 22 and working in construction when he was sent to prison in 1990. He was sentenced to 45 years.
"On August 31, 2017, it was disclosed during a parole hearing that Saldana was not involved in the shooting in any way and was not present," reads a statement from Gascón's office.
For reasons unclear, the parole board did not alert the district attorney's office to this new information until late February 2023.
At that point, Gascón's office immediately launched an investigation, and determined Saldana was innocent.
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