County of Conviction: Los Angeles, California
Wrongful Conviction: First-degree murder
Exonerated Date: 2009
Years Served: 9
Rafael Madrigal was released nine years after a drive-by shooting he did not commit. Witnesses testified that Rafael and his co-defendant, Francisco Olivares, committed the July 2000 shooting. Madrigal contended his innocence from the beginning; at the time of the shooting he was at work at in Rancho Cucamonga, approximately 35 miles away. The petition submitted on Madrigal’s behalf established his alibi and argued that his trial counsel was ineffective in his representation, failing to call an alibi witness or properly investigate the case. An audio tape presented evidence of a phone conversation between Francisco and his girlfriend, where he admits that Rafael was not involved in the shooting. The audio tape was never entered as evidence.
Source: California Innocence Project
Read more about Rafael’s innocence here.