After spending 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, a California man has finally been released.
Miguel Solorio, 44, was arrested in 1998 after a fatal shooting in Whittier, California. At the end of his trial, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
But 25 years later, a judge released him after prosecutors admitted he was wrongly convicted. In fact, according to Solorio’s legal team, he was identified with a questionable method of clouding a witness’s memory by repeatedly showing him photos of the same person, Fox News reported.
Although four witnesses failed to identify the suspect before the story was published, the authorities refused to redirect their investigation.
“This case is a tragic example of what happens when law enforcement officials develop tunnel vision as they pursue a suspect,” said Sarah Pace, an attorney with the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University School of Law.
“Once a witness mentioned Solorio’s name, law enforcement officers focused solely on him, ignoring other evidence and potential suspects, and placing their judgment of guilt or innocence above the facts,” she said.
Just last month, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a letter that Miguel Solorio should be released.
“A new documented scientific consensus emerged in 2020 that a witness’s memory of a suspect should be tested only once, because the test itself contaminates the witness’ memory,” the letter said, according to Fox News.
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