A judge in Los Angeles has reversed the murder sentence of a California man who has been behind bars for 34 years for a crime he did not commit. This happened after it came to light that one of the key witnesses had been lying.
Kash Delano Register was able to take in his first breaths of free air around 4:30 p.m. last Friday. Register, age 53 was moved from a jail in Northern California to a correctional facility located in the heart of Los Angeles, where he was then able to leave as a free man.
The ex-prisoner stated that he was feeling very emotional and that it had come out of nowhere.
Kash received his release notice after a Thursday ruling in which the California judge overturned his 1979 murder conviction of the deadly shooting of an elderly 78-year-old man, by the name of Jack Sasson in April of that year, who lived in the western part of L.A.
Register’s mother stated that she was crying so hard she could not see for a minute or so, she was so happy. She said she was so rejoiced that she could barely believe what she was hearing. Her son had finally gotten his freedom given back to him.
This happening is due partly to another former inmate at Folsom State Prison, where Register was incarcerated, by the name of Keith Chandler. He was a library clerk while he served time there. Almost 13 years ago, Register went to Chandler and asked him for advice.
Chandler said that he recalled Register saying that he needed Chandler’s help when he went in front of the parole board. He wanted to make sure he knew how to talk to them and let them see that he was not some sort of crazy individual when he told them he was innocent. He had been denied parole numerous times after he had been given 27 years to life and felt he was constantly turned down parole because he always maintained and pleaded his innocence. He thinks that caused him to be stuck inside the prison walls where he was known as inmate C11693.
After Chandler got out of prison, he sent a petition to acquire a judge to assign an attorney to Register.
Kash got not only one lawyer but an entire team of them and even students that attended Loyola Law School. They were working on a project which was supposed to find out if prisoners were possibly innocent as they claimed. The entire group offered up a brand new case, which included testimony given from Sheila Vanderkam, who was an alienated sister of one of the original main witnesses. She stated that she had known her sister had lied while giving her own testimony during Register’s first trial.
Vanderkam explained that she knew her sister was not being truthful. She said she thought that surely the police would have been able to pick up on something like that. She stated she had no clue that everything would go on and deteriorate to such trouble.
There was never any murder weapon found. None of the fingerprints discovered at the murder scene matched up with Register’s and it was believed both the prosecutors and even police were suppressing evidence. Kash’s girlfriend had also said on the witness stand that he was with her when the shooting happened.
The judge agreed on Thursday and Register was declared an innocent man in the state of California.
Adam Grant, who was an attorney in the courtroom, said that he recalled glancing over at Register and saw the other man start to cry. Everyone wanted to just hold him in an embrace.
Register said that he cannot be angry, and that everyone makes mistakes. Both the United States and California court systems are the best one to have. He added that he was just happy this mistake had been corrected.
Some mistakes are far bigger than others but thankfully the California man is now released from those bars and can try to get away from the crime he never committed.
By Kimberly Ruble