A Morrison & Foerster pro bono team led by Stacey Sprenkel and Dan Marmalefsky, working closely with pro bono attorney Ellen Eggers and the Northern California Innocence Project, secured a conviction reversal for Arturo Jimenez, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1995. Mr. Jimenez has always maintained his innocence.
Mr. Jimenez was convicted based on a single eyewitness identification by a young woman who saw the shooter for only a moment. The witness later revealed that her identification resulted from police pressure. Moreover, the real shooter, who is now deceased, confessed to multiple people that he committed the very same murder for which Mr. Jimenez was convicted and wrongfully incarcerated. The team filed a petition for habeas corpus in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking reversal of Mr. Jimenez’s conviction, and then met with representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s office agreed that Mr. Jimenez’s trial attorney, who was disbarred for other reasons after the Jimenez trial, provided ineffective assistance of counsel, including failing to review police reports that confirmed that Mr. Jimenez was innocent. The District Attorney’s office conceded error, and, on August 12, 2020, the Court granted the habeas petition and vacated Mr. Jimenez’s conviction. The District Attorney’s office then dismissed all charges in the case.
Mr. Jimenez, who had been incarcerated since he was only 18 years old, was released on parole in April 2020. Now that his conviction has been vacated and the case dismissed, he will be released from parole and finally will be free to live with his loved ones.
“We are beyond grateful to see Arturo’s conviction reversed after he spent more than 25 years in prison fighting for this moment,” Ms. Sprenkel said. “It was a privilege to team up with the Northern California Innocence Project and attorney Ellen Eggers, whose exceptional work investigating this case for many years led to the evidence that was central to achieving this result for Arturo. We are delighted that Arturo may finally move forward with the rest of his life as a free man.”
In addition to Mr. Marmalefsky and Ms. Sprenkel, the Morrison & Foerster team advising Mr. Jimenez included associates Rommy Flores and Ian Bausback.