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Wrongly convicted man released after 34 years

A man imprisoned for more than three decades for a murder he always said he didn't commit was released Friday.
November 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A man imprisoned for more than three decades for a murder he always said he didn't commit walked out of Men's Central Jail on Friday.

Kash D. Register, 53, who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1979, was released after his conviction was overturned.

"I'm just at a numb feeling right now. It just hasn't really set in yet. I know it's real, but it just hasn't truly set in yet. It's a beautiful feeling though," Register told reporters as he got out.

It's a moment that his mother, 76-year-old Wilma Register, has been waiting for for a long time.

"That was victory. That was what I have prayed for, for the world to see that this is not the right man. The system can make mistakes, but nobody believes that until it happens to them," she said.

The victory came on Thursday in a Los Angeles Superior Courtroom. A camera captured the moment Kash Register heard the news he would soon be a free man, all thanks to the efforts of a handful of Loyola Law School students who worked tirelessly for more than a year to win his release.

"This man's life was at stake and even though we worked so hard, it didn't feel like it because we felt like we were doing something really important," said law student Aaron Elster.

The students are part of Loyola Law School's Project for the Innocent, led by Professor Laurie Levenson.

"The only reason he was convicted was some witnesses lied and then the prosecution and police hid some valuable evidence," said Levenson.

Register was 18 years old when he was sent to prison. The evidence against him was an eyewitness who claimed he was the suspect in a robbery homicide. Fast forward 34 years, and it was testimony from the sister of the original witness that set him free.

"I just kept faith. I got acquainted with some nice people to help me legally. Once that happened, it took off. It took awhile, but it took off," said Register.

Register was up for parole 11 times. All he had to say was he was guilty in this crime, but he always maintained his innocence. He said he would rather serve time than say he was guilty for a crime that he did not commit.


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