Carrillo, Franky

Franky Carrillo was sentenced to prison at age 16 for a murder he did not commit and was found innocent after 20 years behind bars.

California Leads the Nation in Wrongful Convictions - I Would Know

By Franky Carrillo

A new project at UC Berkeley Law School, the California Wrongful Convictions Project, has been studying the problem of innocent people in California convicted of crimes they did not commit, and they've just released their findings. I wish I could say I was shocked by what they found.

California currently leads the nation in wrongful convictions. With more than 200 innocent people locked up for crimes they did not commit since 1989, and 123 exonerations, California exceeds every other state in the US when it comes to this dubious distinction.

This came as no surprise to me. I was one of those 200 innocent people.

Prop 34: Ensure That California Never Makes an Irreversible Mistake

By Franky Carrillo


It's hard to imagine it being taken away without just cause. But it happens - more often than you might think.

When I was just 16 years old, I was stripped of my freedom, wrongfully convicted of a murder I did not commit. I spent twenty years behind bars before I was finally able to prove my innocence.

But I always wonder, if I had been sentenced to death, would I have been able to prove my innocence in time?

This is why I believe so strongly in Proposition 34, which will replace California's death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. With the election just two weeks away, it's a critical time to make sure California voters hear about the true costs of the death penalty.

Innocent & Executed: It Could Have Been Me

By Franky Carrillo

Texas executed an innocent man in 1989. That is the stunning conclusion of Los Tocayos Carlos, a groundbreaking article published Monday in The Columbia Human Rights Law Review. As Los Tocayos Carlos meticulously documents, Carlos De Luna was wrongfully convicted and executed for a crime he did not commit.

The news shook me to my core. It could have been me.

I was wrongfully convicted when I was 16 years old and served 20 years in prison before proving my innocence. That mistake took two decades from me; but it took Carlos De Luna’s life.

As I’ve read about the tragic story of Carlos’ death, I’m struck by the parallels between our two lives. Carlos and I could have been brothers -- we come from similar backgrounds and we were both caught up in a criminal justice system that seemed stacked against us as poor young men. But the similarities go deeper.