Loyola Project for the Innocent Secures Release of Falsely Accused Man Who Spent 30 Years Behind Bars
Congratulations to Loyola Project for the Innocent (LPI) client Humberto “Beto” Duran upon his release this week after spending 30 years in prison on a conviction for a crime he did not commit.
LPI took up Beto's case in 2017, quickly realizing it was fraught with problems with the way the original 1993 murder and attempted murder case was handled. Witnesses came forward to law enforcement naming the true perpetrator of the crime, but investigators failed to follow these credible leads. Beto also provided his attorney with the names of multiple alibi witnesses who placed Beto far from the scene of the crime. But Beto's attorney – who was disbarred shortly following this case – did not present any defense for Beto at trial. Beto was convicted based on the conflicting testimony of a single eyewitness whose testimony could have been impeached.
Director of Investigations and Assistant Legal Director Megan Baca led the incredible team assigned to Beto's case. Supporting members of the LPI team include Founding Director Laurie Levenson, Senior Director Adam Grant, Adjunct Professors Joseph Trigilio and Arianna Price, and Legal Fellow Léna Kerouani.
About the Loyola Project for the Innocent
The Project for the Innocent (LPI), part of the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic at LMU Loyola Law School, pursues claims of actual innocence on behalf of those wrongfully convicted of crimes. Students work under the supervision of founder Laurie Levenson, professor and David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy; Program Director Adam Grant; Assistant Legal Director and Director of Investigations Megan Baca; and staff attorneys and legal fellows. Since 2011, the LPI has secured the release of 15 other clients seeking justice after wrongful convictions. They include Maurice Hastings (2022 release after 38 years in prison); Ignacio Ixta Jr. (2021 release after 10 years in prison); Dwight Jones (2021 release after 21 years in prison); Mark Evans (2021 release after 23 years in prison); Emon Barnes (2020 release after 19 years in prison); Jane Dorotik (2020 release after 20 years in prison); Johnathon Ramos (2020 release after 8 years in prison); Janet Dixon (2020 release after nearly 40 years in prison); Michael Tirpak (2019 release after 25 years in prison); Maria Mendez (2018 release after 11 years in prison); Jaime Ponce (2017 release after 19 years in prison); Marco Contreras (2017 release after 20 years in prison); Andrew Leander Wilson (2017 release after 32 years in prison), Kash Delano Register (2013 release after 34 years in prison), and Obie Anthony (2011 release after 17 years in prison). Learn more at www.lls.edu/ProjectfortheInnocent.