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MEET FRANKY

Francisco “Franky” Carrillo is a father, community leader, justice advocate, and fighter for Democratic values who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Knowing what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a rigged system, Franky is now running for State Assembly to reform the broken systems that are failing regular people in our neighborhoods. Franky will fight to improve our schools, tackle the homelessness and fentanyl crises, expand health care access, and reform the justice system that failed him for so long.

Franky serves on the newly-formed Probation Oversight Commission of Los Angeles County, working on systemic reform within the Probation Department. He is also the Chief Policy Advisor for the Los Angeles Innocence Project at Cal State L.A., where he works to reform the justice system and exonerate others who have been wrongfully convicted.

Franky still carries the mentality his dad taught him — that you focus on solutions, not problems, and you fix things that are broken. Franky will bring that approach to the State Assembly, put people first, and work to make the system work for everyone.

Meet Franky
Meet Franky

Franky's Story

Born to blue-collar Mexican immigrant parents and raised in the LA area along with two older sisters and a younger brother, Franky’s father worked in manufacturing before getting injured on the job.

Then Franky’s world changed for the first time at the age of 9 when his parents divorced. Taking care of four preteen kids and unable to work, Franky’s father did the best he could, doing carpentry and repair work on the side.

Franky bounced around to different schools while working as a paperboy and helping on his dad’s repair work. With gangs prevalent in LA County, Franky focused on his passions for art and architecture in high school before his world changed again.

One early morning of his sophomore year in high school, while getting ready for school, Franky heard loud pounding on the door. When he opened the door, a dozen LA County Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the apartment and held down Franky and his father while the apartment was searched.

Franky’s arrest and subsequent charges for a murder he did not commit were a shocking and devastating turn of events. Despite being at home with his father during the time of the drive-by shooting, the deputies failed to communicate any reason for his arrest. Franky was left confused and bewildered as he was brought to the station and questioned — Franky’s nightmare was just beginning.

With no option for bail and no funds for an attorney, 16-year-old Franky Carrillo became stuck in a system rigged against people like him.

Throughout two trials over two years with witnesses changing their stories, Franky kept believing in the words from the pledge of allegiance he gave every morning in school — that liberty and justice was for all. Only when the verdict was read as “guilty” was Franky’s faith shaken. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Franky refused to give up. Through 20 years in prison, he educated himself, spending hours in the law library, writing letters to anyone he thought could help get his case reviewed.

Franky got the attention of a new set of attorneys, including Ellen Eggers, The Northern California Innocence Project, and Morrison & Foerster, LLP, who together dug into his case and found that a member of a white supremacist gang of LA County Sheriff’s deputies had prompted witnesses to identify Franky and that the witnesses had since recanted their testimony. Another man had even confessed to being involved in the shooting and had sworn in a statement that Franky was not present, but the judge at sentencing had refused to hear his testimony.

In 2011, Franky was exonerated! He was finally free. Justice triumphed, reaffirming Franky’s belief that fighting for what is right can bring about a difference.

Upon his release, Franky hit the ground running. He earned a degree from Loyola Marymount University and got involved in advocating for justice reform to prevent others from being left behind as he was. Franky started a family, bought a home in the Echo Park/Elysian Heights area, and became active in the Democratic Party.

Now, Franky serves on the newly-formed Probation Oversight Commission of Los Angeles County, working on systemic reform within the Probation Department. He is also the Chief Policy Advisor for the Los Angeles Innocence Project at Cal State L.A., where he works to reform the justice system and exonerate others who have been wrongfully convicted.

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Paid for by Franky Carrillo for Assembly 2024 (FPPC ID #1463543)
P.O. Box 26933 Los Angeles, CA 90026
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