“I’m just in a numb feeling right now,” Register told reporters. “You know, it just hasn’t really set in yet. I know it’s real, but it just hasn’t truly set in yet. It’s a beautiful feeling, though.” Register was convicted of killing Jack Sasson, 78, in April 1979 and sentenced to 27 years to life in prison. He always maintained his innocence.
Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader threw out the conviction on Thursday, ruling that prosecutors used false testimony at trial and failed to disclose exculpatory evidence. Prosecutors said they would decide by next month whether to appeal the decision or retry him.
Register was convicted mainly on alleged witness testimony. None of the seven fingerprints found on Sasson’s car matched Register’s, and police never recovered the murder weapon. Register’s girlfriend said he was with her at the time of the shooting but prosecutors relied on the testimony of Brenda Anderson, who identified Register as the gunman. Two of Anderson’s sisters said their sibling lied about seeing Register running away from the crime scene.