A man wrongly sentenced to life has been released from a California prison after serving 38 years. "I don't stand here as a bitter man," 69-year-old Hastings said at a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday. He now wanted to enjoy his life and just move forward. District Attorney George Gascón announced the man's release based on DNA analysis. His conviction for murder was a "terrible injustice". Hastings had always denied the crime.
According to the public prosecutor's office, Hastings had already pushed for a DNA analysis in 2000 in vain. The Los Angeles Innocence Project later became aware of the case. The organization tries to prove the innocence of the accused with the help of DNA tests. Last June, a DNA test revealed traces of semen found on the body were not from Hastings. This month, a database linked them to an inmate who died in 2020 while serving a lengthy sentence on other counts of kidnapping and rape.