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Daniel Saldana Exonerated For Baldwin Park Shooting After 33 Years In Prison

Daniel Saldana Freed After Being Wrongfully Convicted For Attempted Murder In Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA (May 28, 2023) – Daniel Saldana has been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted for a Baldwin Park shooting and spending 33 years in prison.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón declared his innocence after new evidence came forward. Daniel Saldana was initially charged for a 1989 shooting that targeted six high school students after a football game.

Prosecutors said that the suspects in that case mistook the group of children for gang members before opening fire.  Daniel Saldana was convicted of six counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 45 years to life in prison.

Another defendant came forward in 2017 and said that Saldana was not involved in the shooting or even present when it took place. Daniel Saldana was ultimately exonerated of any involvement following an investigation.

Liability For Wrongful Imprisonment In California

Everyone wants to believe that the justice system is fair and as error free as possible. But the truth is that thousands of people are likely wrongfully convicted and imprisoned every year for crimes that they did not commit. According to the Innocence Project, “Extrapolating from the 281 known DNA exonerations in the US since the late 1980s, a conservative estimate is that 1 percent of the US prison population, approximately 20,000 people, are falsely convicted.” The vast majority of wrongful convictions stem from charges of sexual assault and/or murder. There are a number of common causes of wrongful convictions.

  • For many criminal accusations, eye witnesses misidentified a suspect.
  • An estimated 28% of convictions involved false confessions.
  • Over half of wrongful convictions involved misapplied forensic science.

DNA testing has led to a number of exonerations. The very first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Any person that is wrongfully convicted of a felony in California may have legal recourse from the California Victim’s Compensation Board under Penal Code §4900. Pursuant to the statute, any person wrongfully convicted may “present a claim against the state to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board for the pecuniary injury sustained by him or her through the erroneous conviction and imprisonment.” The California Victim’s Compensation Board recommends successful claimants get $140 per day for their wrongful imprisonment. Though, many claims have settled for much higher amounts. There are a number of steps to take if you’ve been exonerated of a crime.

  • Gather as much evidence and documents related to your case as you can.
  • Speak with an experienced civil rights attorney about the unique facts of your case.

Victims of wrongful convictions may also have recourse under federal law through 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. According to the statute, “Every person who …subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law…” This statute can be used to challenge federal constitutional or statutory violations by state actors which have affected the conditions of your confinement. A Los Angeles civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Getting Justice After Being Wrongfully Convicted of A Felony

We at Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to Daniel Saldana as he has finally been exonerated. There needs to be a thorough review of what went wrong in this particular case. It is our sincere hope that additional safeguards are considered to prevent other innocent people from spending time in prison.

Have you or someone that you care about been wrongfully convicted of a felony in California or recently exonerated? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of highly experienced Los Angeles civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that all people in California are treated fairly by the justice system and that victims of wrongful convictions are fairly compensated. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.



Michael works on high-profile cases that have garnered national media attention. His practice today focuses on child sexual abuse cases, police misconduct cases, catastrophic injuries and other wrongful death matters. He is a passionate advocate for his clients including the countless child sexual abuse victims he currently represents.