Politics & Government

Man wrongfully convicted of murder spent 20 years in prison. Now he’s running for office

FILE - Francisco Carrillo, far right, poses with colleagues (from left to right) Jimmy Wu, Scott Budnick and Jesse Aguiar in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, 2013. Carrillo served 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and in early June 2017 announced his intent to run for a California Assembly seat.
FILE - Francisco Carrillo, far right, poses with colleagues (from left to right) Jimmy Wu, Scott Budnick and Jesse Aguiar in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, 2013. Carrillo served 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and in early June 2017 announced his intent to run for a California Assembly seat. AP

A man who was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit spent 20 years in prison before his release.

Six years later, he’s planning to run for office.

Francisco Carrillo of Lynwood was wrongfully convicted of a 1991 drive-by shooting and had his conviction reversed by a judge in 2011. In a statement released Thursday, Carrillo said he plans to run for a vacant California Assembly seat, Southern California’s KPCC reported.

Carrillo, who was 16 on the day of the shooting of which he was convicted, spent 10 years at Folsom State Prison and earned his GED while incarcerated, NBC Los Angeles reported in 2012. In 2016, Carrillo received a $10 million settlement from Los Angeles County.

Carrillo’s spokesman, Roy Behr, told KPCC that Carrillo taught himself law while in prison.

He’ll be campaigning for the 51st Assembly District seat, which was vacated Tuesday when former occupant Jimmy Gomez was elected to Congress.

“I believe I will serve as a beacon of hope and optimism, but even more importantly, I will serve as a fighter for fairness and justice,” Carrillo told KPCC.

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