A young American man who has wrongly spent 13 years in a US prison is still incarcerated despite being declared innocent by a federal judge two years ago.
Daniel Larsen was sent to prison for 27 years to life under California’s controversial three strikes law, after he was found guilty of possessing a concealed weapon in 1999.
However, a federal judge overturned the ruling and declared that the Larsen’s constitutional rights had been violated because his attorney was incompetent.
The California Attorney General’s office has appealed the federal judge’s ruling saying Larsen never deserved a reversal in federal court because he missed his deadline for filing a writ of habeas corpus.
“And meanwhile Danny is rotting in prison,” co-director of the California Innocence Project, Jan Stiglitz said.
In 1998, police officers responded to a call that an assault with a deadly weapon was in progress outside a bar in Los Angeles.
Officers reported that they saw Larsen toss a knife underneath a nearby car. A subsequent search turned up a six-inch double-edged knife.
The California Innocence Project, which maintain Larsen’s innocence says his attorney, Edward Consiglio, did not present a single witness to the court despite nine being on the scene.
Witnesses later said they never saw Larsen with a knife and that a man who was with Larsen, threw the knife under the car, however the deadline for filing the writ of habeas corpus was passed by then.
In 2010, a Magistrate Judge reversed Larsen’s conviction, saying “no reasonable juror would have found [Larsen] guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” if they had the chance to consider witnesses testimonies.
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