Cristina Bordé's client, Vicente Benavides, is released from San Quentin's death row

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.


Cristina Bordé

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:

Submitted by Law School News on May 3, 2018

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