AFRICANGLOBE -A judge threw out the conviction of a 53-year-old Los Angeles man who’s spent 34 years behind bars for murder after two sisters of a key witness said the account of what their sibling saw was a lie.
Kash Delano Register was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for killing 78-year-old Jack Sasson in April of 1979, but has always maintained his innocence.
Linking arms with his mother, Register walked out of jail a free man Friday afternoon. He said he was looking forward to enjoying a home-cooked meal from his mother for the first time in more than three decades.
Tears streamed down Register’s face in the courtroom earlier Friday as a judge revealed his conviction with would be overthrown.
“He told me he just didn’t know what to feel,” said his attorney Adam Grant, who spoke to him after Thursday’s ruling. “He’s thrilled, excited, just kind of in a daze. He kept shaking his head and saying — ’34 years, 34 years.'”
Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent, dedicated to the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted, took on Register’s case two years ago. Piles of paperwork and investigation by students and staff lead them to believe the man was innocent.
“People should look at this and say even when we think we’re doing the best we can, we make mistakes, we make really serious mistakes that affect people’s lives,” said Laurie Levenson, director of Project for the Innocent.
“In this case, the two eyewitnesses, they’re stories didn’t make a lot of sense, there wasn’t any physical evidence and the most important thing, our client, Mr. Register, had said from the beginning he didn’t do it,” Leveson said.
Register was convicted mainly on eyewitness testimony.
Brenda Anderson identified Register as the gunman, even though he had an alibi that he was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.
Anderson testified that she heard shots from across the street as she was about to get into the shower that day and that she saw somebody “running in between some apartments, run back and shoot two more times.”
Two of Anderson’s sisters said their sibling lied about seeing Register running away from the crime scene.
Brenda Anderson has repeatedly changed her account.
By: Jason Kandel and John Cádiz Klemack