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CA: California death row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned

[kcra.com 4/17/18]

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) —

A man who spent nearly 25 years on California’s death row for raping and killing a toddler before his conviction was overturned won’t be retried and could be freed within days, authorities said Tuesday.

Vicente Benavides Figueroa, 68, has remained in prison even though the state Supreme Court last month overturned his 1993 conviction on grounds that medical testimony at his trial was false.
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Many doctors who testified to the cause of the girl’s injuries recanted.

Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green announced Tuesday that prosecutors won’t retry Benavides for first-degree murder and that without the medical testimony, it would be “difficult, if not impossible” to win a conviction for second-degree murder. Even if Benavides was convicted on the lesser charge, he would be immediately eligible for parole, Green said.

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  1. Laura

    What a tragedy. This person lost all that time and so very much more because of statements made by doctors that all these years later recanted and said they never saw the original medical records. So if I had to look back 25 years I’d be left wondering exactly what or who convinced these doctors to give those false statements without fully studying the details of the case? How very sad for this person, his life and his family.

    • Harry

      I hope Mr. Figueroa can find a good lawyer that will sue these doctors and put them out of business.

  2. Nicholas Maietta

    So if he didn’t do it, who did? I know of a man who died in prison over a similar accusation yet the perp who did it confessed while on his deathbed.

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