Exoneree Franky Carrillo launches campaign for Congress

At the age of 16, Franky Carrillo was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. After serving 20 years, he was exonerated. Now, Carrillo is running for Congress. 

Carrillo is running to represent California's 27th District, a seat that is currently held by Rep. Mike Garcia. 

"I’m running for Congress to reform the rigged systems that leave working Californians behind," Carrillo said. 

In his launch video released Tuesday, Carrillo said he spent the 20 years in prison fighting for justice.

"I knew I had to fight back. I educated myself, I wrote to lawyers, reporters, anyone I thought could help me. And for the next 20 years of my life I took on the system, and I always knew justice would prevail." 

According to his campaign, Carrillo will ‘fight to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed', make ‘people the priority, not extreme politics’, and to ‘take on the divisive MAGA extremists’. 

"When I was sent to prison for a crime I didn’t commit, I lost complete faith in the system. But as time went on, I learned that we’re capable of changing the system and improving our lives as long as there are good people who are willing to fight for what’s right. That’s exactly what I’ll do. I will never let go of the idea that justice will prevail."

Since being exonerated at the age of 37, Carrillo says he started a family, has been advocating for justice reform and democratic values and currently serves on the Probation Oversight Commission of Los Angeles County.

Carrillo's story was also highlighted in Netflix's ‘The Innocence Files’ and on the podcast ‘Strangers.’

California’s 27th Congressional District represents northern Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley.