Congratulations to Loyola Project for the Innocent (LPI) client Humberto “Beto” Duran upon his release this week after spending 30 years in prison on a conviction for a crime he did not commit.
Duran was arrested in 1993 for a murder and attempted murder that occurred in East Los Angeles. There were problems with the case from the beginning: Witnesses came forward to law enforcement naming the true perpetrator of the crime, but investigators failed to follow these credible leads. Duran also provided his attorney with the names of multiple alibi witnesses who placed Duran far from the scene of the crime. But Duran’s attorney – who was disbarred shortly following this case — did not present any defense for Duran at trial. Duran was convicted based on the conflicting testimony of a single eyewitness whose testimony could have been impeached.
Director of Investigations and Assistant Legal Director Megan Baca, along with Legal Fellow Léna Kerouani, began investigating Duran’s case in 2017 and uncovered compelling evidence supporting his claims of innocence. In August 2022, the Board of Parole Hearings found Duran suitable for parole after considering the evidence of innocence submitted by Duran’s legal team and based on Duran’s hard work while incarcerated, and his overwhelming familial and community support.
LPI will continue to fight for Duran and intends to present newly discovered evidence of innocence to the court this month. LPI is confident that justice will finally be done for Duran and that the wrongful conviction will be overturned. Supporting members of the LPI team include Founding Director Laurie Levenson, Senior Director Adam Grant, and Adjunct Professors Joseph Trigilio and Arianna Price.