CIP : Two Current Cases

This article is part of a series of four stories about social justice and wrongful convictions in the United States published in the LILA Gazette in January 2023.

By Catalina Haberman – 12th grade.

Jermaine Smothers

Smothers was falsely accused of murder in May of 1995. 27 years later, he remains incarcerated, despite evidence proving his innocence. After years of investigation by an Oceanside Police Department detective, Jermaine’s case was presented to the California Innocence Project which has since continued to reveal evidence in his favor. 

County of Conviction: San Diego

Convicted of: Murder

Sentence: 29 Years to Life

Year of Conviction: 1996

Cost of Wrongful Incarceration*: $1,867,669 and counting

David Diaz

In July of 1998, David Diaz was in a movie theater with his girlfriend and sister when, at the same time, someone got out of a car and approached three people walking across an intersection in Los Angeles. Remberto Preciado was one of the people approached, as the man began threatening them and asking questions like “where are you from?” The man ended up shooting Remberto in the leg after he said he was a member of a Latino street gang. Diaz was accused of being in the same car as the shooter and was sentenced 37 years to life in prison. The Innocence Project is working on the Diaz case to attain justice.

County of Conviction: Los Angeles

Convicted of: Attempted Murder

Sentence: 37 Years to Life

Year of Conviction: 1999

Cost of Wrongful Incarceration*: $1,512,000 and counting

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