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61-YO Man Who Spent 32 Years in Prison for a Murder He Didn’t Commit Is Finally Freed
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61-YO Man Who Spent 32 Years in Prison for a Murder He Didn’t Commit Is Finally Freed

Once released, Ciria is entitled to financial compensation under California state law, at a rate of $140 per day for the 32 years he spent in prison, which amounts to a little over $1.6 million dollars, according to the California Victim Compensation Board. 

Cover Image Source: YouTube | KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
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Joaquin Ciria spent three decades in prison for allegedly murdering his friend in San Francisco. Despite losing thirty years of his life, he always maintained that he was not responsible for the crime.

The 61-year-old man was convicted of murder in 1991 for the shooting death of Felix Bastarrica, according to CNN. However, Ciria was exonerated on April 18, 2022, exactly 32 years to the date of his arrest, following an extensive review and investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney's Innocence Commission, San Francisco District Attorney, Chesa Boudin said in an online statement.

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Back in '91, he was arrested despite not having any physical evidence linking him to the crime, but San Francisco police inspectors focused their investigation on him "based on rumors on the street and statements of the getaway driver, George Varela," according to the district attorney.

In reality, Bastarrica had been killed by a mutual acquaintance of Varela and Ciria, the Northern California Innocence Project said in a news release. Verala, in exchange for complete immunity, testified he drove Ciria to and from the crime scene. He was also under extreme pressure from police to identify Ciria at the time, despite Ciria having two alibi witnesses who were never heard at trial, the district attorney said.