Project for the Innocent Secures Freedom for Man Wrongfully Convicted of Murder

Kash Delano Register, who spent 34 years in prison after being convicted of a murder he did not commit, was freed from jail on Friday, Nov. 8. A judge threw out his conviction after a team of lawyers and law students from the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Project for the Innocent successfully argued that Register, 53, was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1979. Kash's story was covered by the news media (see box at right), and was recently documented in a Slate story by Clinical Professor Lara Bazelon, director of the clinic.

The release came just one day after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader found at the conclusion of a hearing conducted at L.A.’s Airport Courthouse that Register’s due process rights were violated by the prosecution’s failure to disclose exculpatory evidence and its use of false testimony at trial.

“I just want to thank everyone who believed in me,” Register said as he walked out of the Inmate Reception Center of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles and was greeted by the Loyola attorneys and law students who assisted him.

Register visited the Loyola Law School campus on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to thank the students and attorneys who worked on this case. During the visit, he spoke about his ordeal with students in a Criminal Law class who organized a donation drive for him.

“Without the Project for the Innocent, I’d probably still be in prison,” Register said. “They have worked tremendously in my favor, and I think that they’re the best at what they do.”

Register, who is African American, was convicted by an all-white jury in the robbery-homicide of an elderly white man in the Pico Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 18 years old at the time of his arrest.  Attorney Herbert Barish was co-counsel on the case.

“We are grateful and delighted that Mr. Register has finally obtained justice and will get his life back after this 34-year nightmare,” said Professor Laurie Levenson, the David W. Burcham Professor of Ethical Advocacy at Loyola Law School who oversees Loyola’s Project for the Innocent. Bazelon, the project’s director, said, “We could not be happier for our client, a person of amazing strength and moral conviction who has steadfastly maintained his innocence for almost three and a half decades.”

Register had steadfastly maintained his innocence all along despite being denied parole on 11 different occasions dating back to 1993. His mother, Wilma Register, testified in court that she had always taught her son: “The truth shall set you free.”