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The free man after 32 years of wrongful sentence killed his friend because of a wrong witness

Joaquin Ciria was arrested in 1990 for the alleged murder of his friend Felix Bastarrica, a resident of San Francisco. Chessa Boudin, the San Francisco district attorney who acquitted Ciria, said the unjust conviction was due to false testimony and police misconduct.

Speaking to ABC News, he said: “Although we cannot repay him for the lost years of his life, we are grateful that the court has corrected a serious public wrong. this reason”.

There is no tangible evidence that Ciria committed the crime, Boudin said. Local police at the time firmly believed that the suspect was the shooter based solely on rumours and the testimony of the driver, named George Varela, who was said to have fled.

This person testified and falsely claimed to have brought Mr. Ciria to and from the scene in exchange for a complete exoneration.

The driver, who at the time was still a teenager, was forced by police to designate Mr. Ciria as the killer. As soon as Varela admitted his mistake, the panel realized the trial had gone in a completely different direction.

According to the Innocence Commission, two of the three witnesses who testified in Ciria’s trial confirmed that they had mistaken vision due to poor visibility and late-night lighting. Another witness, a close friend of the victim, confirmed the shooter was someone else.

The testimony of other witnesses about the identity of the killer all matched other suspects. Mr. Ciria himself has long maintained his innocence.

Mr. Ciria’s case was the first to be reviewed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s Innocence Committee. This committee was set up in 2020 to review closed cases, trying to ensure that there are no false convictions and that no innocent people are executed.

“Mr Johaquin’s case highlights a lot of problems in our system, including the time it takes to overturn a wrongful conviction,” said Paige Kaneb, supervisor at the Northern California Innocence Commission. , issues related to the use of testimony as well as the inability of people of color to prove their innocence.”

In California alone, more than 270 wrongdoings have been discovered since the National Crime Registry began investigating wrongful convictions in 1989.

In a press release, Mr Boudin’s office said: “The causes of these false conclusions include witness misidentification, false witness testimony and misconduct by the authorities. All three factors are present in Mr. Ciria’s case.

The prosecutor’s office said Mr Ciria would likely be officially released within the next few days.

According to Mirror

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