Man on death row for 24 years walks free

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A man who spent the last 24 years on death row for the murder and sexual assault of a toddler has been freed. 

Vicente Benavides, 68, walked out the gates of San Quentin State Prison at 3:50 p.m. Thursday. 

His release comes after the State Supreme Court ruled his 1993 conviction for the sexual assault and murder of his girlfriend’s 21-month -old daughter was based on false evidence.   

The District Attorney in Kern County chose not to retry Benavides. 

According to the Department of Corrections, Benavides will be receiving reentry services. 

Under state law, people whose convictions were reversed based on insufficient evidence or who were exonerated are entitled to receive transitional services, which can include housing assistance, job training, help in obtaining a valid identification card and other reentry services.

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