A man who spent 34 years in jail for murder had his sentence overturned when a Los Angeles judge agreed he did not commit the crime.
CBS Los Angeles reports Kash Delano Register (53) became a free man in downtown Los Angeles at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility after being transported from the Northern California jail where he spent more than three decades. The judge hearing Register's retrial overturned the conviction on Thursday and by Friday afternoon, he was released.
In 1979, Register was convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of Jack Sasson (78) in West Los Angeles, reports the Huffington Post. He was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison after a guilty verdict was decided mainly on eyewitness testimony. No physical evidence had connected Register to the crime — his fingerprints didn't match those found on the victim's car and the murder weapon was never recovered.
Brenda Anderson, whose testimony identified Register as the gunman, was the main witness for the prosecution in the original trial. According to the Huffington Post, prosecutors ignored the testimony of Register's girlfriend who said he was with her at the time of the shooting.
Anderson's sister, Sheila Vanderkam, has since come forward and stated that she knew her sister had lied at Register's trial. She also claimed that she tried to tell police that Anderson was lying, but a detective motioned her to be silent, reports the Huffington Post.
At the recent hearing to overturn, it was ruled that prosecutors failed to disclose evidence and used false testimony at the trial.
Former inmate and prison library clerk Keith Chandler was instrumental in helping Register get a retrial. According to CBS, Register asked Chandler for advice on how he could prove his innocence to the parole board. Upon Chandler's release from prison, he petitioned a judge to appoint Register an attorney for a new trial and a team of attorneys and students with Loyola Law School's Project for the Innocent presented a new case for register, including testimony from Vanderkam.