After 13 Years in Prison, Man Found Innocent of Crime Freed

Jason Kandel (NBCLA) | March 20, 2013

A Los Angeles man who served 13 years of a 27-years-to-life prison sentence for a crime a judge and the California Innocence Project said he didn’t commit was released from custody on Tuesday.

Daniel Larsen was convicted in 1999 of possession of a concealed weapon after two police officers testified they saw him toss a knife under a car in the parking lot of a bar, according to the California Innocence Project, a legal aid organization that works to revisit convictions of people believed to be innocent of their crimes.

Larsen was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison under California’s Three Strikes Law because he had prior convictions for burglary.

The 45-year-old walked out of court a free man accompanied by his lawyer and the woman he married in September. He said little to reporters standing by after a federal judge ordered him released.

“To see Danny walk out of prison is one of the great moments in our work,” said Jan Stiglitz, the co-director of the Innocence Project. “It’s been a long time and it feels terrific.”

The order for Larsen’s release came while appeals in his case are pending.

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