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.
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.