California Death Row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A man who spent more than 20 years on California’s Death Row before his conviction was overturned won’t be retried and could be freed within days.
Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green announced Tuesday that she won’t retry Vicente Benavides Figueroa for the rape and murder of a toddler. But Green tells KBAK that doesn’t mean she thinks he’s innocent.
The 68-year-old Delano man was convicted in 1993 of killing his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daughter.
The California Supreme Court threw out his conviction and sentence in March, noting that the medical evidence was proven false. Many of the doctors who testified at the trial recanted.
Green says prosecutors can’t retry Benavides for first-degree murder and even if he were convicted of second-degree murder, he’d immediately be eligible for parole.