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Andrew Wilson Freed After 32 Years in Prison

By Innocence Staff

A Los Angeles man who spent more than 32 years behind bars was released on Thursday after a judge vacated his murder conviction late Wednesday.

Andrew Wilson, a client of Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent, was convicted of stabbing to death a 21-year-old man who was sleeping in his truck with his girlfriend in 1984. Wilson maintains he had nothing to do with the incident.

According to Wilson’s attorneys, key pieces of evidence were never turned over to the defense during trial. The victim’s girlfriend, Saladena Bishop, selected Wilson’s photo from a lineup only after an officer pointed to Wilson’s photo and asked, “What about him?” Police later deemed Saladena an unreliable witness after she filed a police report falsely accusing another man of kidnapping and attempted rape. Also, a friend of the victim told the trial prosecutor, Laura Aalto, that Saladena had stabbed the victim in the past and was likely the perpetrator.

 

Superior Court Judge Laura F. Priver ruled Wednesday that, by withholding this evidence, Aalto deprived Wilson of his constitutional right to a fair trial and ordered him released from prison as soon as possible. A hearing is scheduled for May 3 to decide Wilson’s factual innocence, which will determine whether he is compensated by the state for the more than three decades he spent behind bars. The district attorney’s office, however, has already announced that it doesn’t intend to reprosecute Wilson.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Wilson plans to move to St. Louis to be with his 96-year-old mother, Margie Davis, who has been a tireless advocate for his exoneration since his arrest.

“I knew that he was innocent all along,” Davis told the Times. “It’s no news to me. He is an honest person — I knew he wouldn’t lie.”


 

Read the Los Angeles Times coverage here.

Read the Los Angeles Daily News coverage here.

Related: Report Says Wrongful Convictions Cost California $221 Million

7 Comments

  1. Regina Kaniewski

    Congratulations everyone involved in this case . I wish Andrew Wilson peace , joy and good health in his freedom and salute his triumph over the lies, deception and cruelty that have marked his life for the last thirty two years. I hope and pray that my husband will one day be in the same position after 29 years of wrongful imprisonment but it looks unlikely as long as he refuses to say he was guilty.

  2. Glen

    It’s going to be a difficult adjustment.
    It’s not 1987 anymore

    • Amy

      Why such a negative thoughts.. freedom & he gets to hug his mother that still alive, THATS HUGE & so much more than being behind bars for SOMETHING HE DIDNT DO…

  3. Jennifer Berg

    A wise, wise man…”bitterness is a wasted path.” I’m so sorry that you were wrongly imprisoned and hope that you can now enjoy the freedom that you were so long denied.

  4. Amy Prijatel

    Why such a negative thoughts.. freedom & he gets to hug his mother that still alive, THATS HUGE & so much more than being behind bars for SOMETHING HE DIDNT DO…

  5. Will

    He better get paid.
    When we WE citizens stop this? The system is growing. Consuming us all. 2.5 million Americans in jail right now. Countless millions out on probation or parole. Still in custody technically.
    This won’t end. They’ll come for your children and family.
    Making A Murderer showed us race isn’t the only deciding factor. If the police want you, the entire system will support their corruption.
    If you’re not willing to do what’s unpopular and stand up for them, you’re only securing our fates.

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