Bordé worked for 19 years to prove his innocence
Vicente Figueroa Benavides, a California man who served nearly 25 years on death row, was released from San Quentin prison in April after all charges against him were dismissed.
UW Law School’s Cristina Bordé had represented Benavides in post-conviction proceedings since 1999. She began working on his case while serving as senior habeas counsel at the San Francisco-based Habeas Corpus Resource Center.
Prosecutors in the original trial relied on expert medical testimony to convict Benavides, but most of the experts who testified against him later recanted.
In a rare decision, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Benavides’s 1993 convictions for murder and rape were based on false evidence that was "extensive, pervasive and impactful." After the decision, the local district attorney decided not to retry Benevides, and a superior court judge ordered his release.
Learn more about the Benevides case:
- Los Angeles Times, "The latest California death row exoneration shows why we need to end the death penalty," April 27, 2018.
- CBS News, "Wrongfully convicted San Quentin inmate walks free after 25 years on death row," April 20, 2018.
- NBC News, "Man who spent 25 years on death row is released," April 19, 2018.
- California Supreme Court’s decision, March 12, 2018.
Submitted by Law School News on May 3, 2018
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