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Franky Carrillo

Special Advisor

Franky Carrillo is the son of Mexican immigrants who came to Los Angeles in the late 60s. He was born in L.A. County General Hospital and grew up in Los Angeles. At the age of 16, he was wrongfully accused of a crime he didn’t commit, tried and convicted as an adult, and sentenced to live out the remainder of his life in prison. Throughout the entire process, Franky maintained his innocence and devoted his life to proving that the system made a terrible mistake. Franky never lost hope in himself, the judicial system, or his unwavering faith in humanity. After spending 20 years in prison he was exonerated in 2011. 

As a result of his unwavering claims of innocence and the efforts of Attorney Ellen Eggers, Northern California Innocence Project, and Morrison and Foerester to prove his wrongful conviction, his case gained national attention, including a successful documentary on Netflix, entitled The Innocence Files.


During his time in prison, Franky educated himself and became a powerful advocate for reform. After his release, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University, sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and won.

He has since dedicated his life to reforming work in the legal system and educating the public on wrongful convictions. He became heavily involved in state and national campaigns including efforts to bring an end to the death penalty nationally and served as co-chair of Los Angeles’ successful Measure A campaign for sheriff’s department accountability. Franky founded the Restorative Project, a holistic reentry initiative, and his work resulted in the naming of the “Franky Carrillo Teen Court” established by the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County.

He is a current elected member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, a President Biden appointee to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, and the former chair of the 52nd Central Committee where he continues to co-chair the Judicial Interview Committee. Franky sits on the Los Angeles County District Attorney's advisory board. He is also an appointed Los Angeles County Commissioner where he now oversees the same probation department that once confined him as a youth.


Franky is posturing himself to be the first-ever formerly incarcerated / exoneree elected official in California. He lives in Echo Park where he’s raising his children. His story serves as a testament of hope and resiliency, and a reminder of the need for continued efforts to ensure just systems for all.

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