How Curb Your Enthusiasm Saved Juan Catalan From Death Row
A 2004 episode HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm was instrumental in proving the innocence and exonerating Juan Catalan in the murder of Martha Puebla, saving him from a potential death row sentence.
From Thought Catalog, “On the night of May 12, 2003, 16-year-old Martha Puebla was shot to death outside her home in Sun Valley, CA. Only days before her murder, she had testified against young Mario Catalan involving a gang slaying in which Mario was charged as an accessory. Twenty miles away, Mario’s brother Juan was at Dodger Stadium with his six-year old daughter, watching his beloved Dodgers play the Atlanta Braves. Since an eyewitness identified Juan as the shooter and Juan had a criminal record from his teens, police arrested him and charged him with murder. He spent nearly six months in jail protesting his innocence while staring down the death penalty. It wasn’t until Juan’s persistent lawyer was reviewing hours of tapes and spotted Juan in the crowd during the Dodgers game based on outtakes from Larry David’s HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm that the DA was forced to drop the murder charges and award him a settlement of $320,000.”
The story of Juan Catalan and Curb Your Enthusiasm is illustrated in the Netflix Documentary Long Shot.