Oct 29, 2022 16:42 GMT
After spending 38 years behind bars, Maurice Hastings leaves prison after a DNA test linked the crimes for which he was charged with another person who died in 2020.
An American who has spent the last 38 years of his life behind bars was released this Friday, after new DNA evidence exonerated him of the crimes for which he was convicted in 1988. inform local media.
Maurice Hastings, 69, was convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder by Roberta Wydermyer in Inglewood (California, USA) in 1983, as well as by the attempt to kill to her husband, Billy Ray, and his friend George Pinson, while chasing the car in which the victim, who had been kidnapped during her overnight visit to a nearby market, was chasing.
Hastings’ first trial ended in a hung jury, but a second trial found him guilty of all these crimes, resulting in a life sentence no parole.
“I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. I’m not coming here as a resentful man,” Hastings said during a news conference after his release. “I just want to enjoy my life while I stay. And I just want to move on”he added.
The 1988 conviction was overturned thanks to the joint effort of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Innocence Project, CBS News stresses.
“We no longer have any confidence in the veracity of the case against Mr. Hastings,” said the prosecutor, George Gascón, who recalled that the convicted man had constantly proclaimed his innocence throughout the years. “Today he is a free man thanks to his perseverance,” he added.
According to The American Press, Hastings had requested a DNA test in 2000, but at that time the request was denied. In 2021, Hastings filed a claim of innocence with the Prosecutor’s Sentencing Integrity Unit and DNA tests carried out last June determined that the semen found on the body was not his.
The DNA profile was entered this month into a state database and matched that of a person who was convicted of an armed kidnapping in which the victim was also kidnapped from a vehicle and sexually assaulted. That suspect, whose name has not been released, died in prison in 2020.