Maurice Hastings, 69, has been released from a California prison after 38 years. Hasting was sentenced to life in prison for rape, murder and two attempted murders. Recent DNA tests show that he is not the perpetrator.
Although Hasting was wrongfully imprisoned for 38 years and even faced the death penalty, he is not angry. “I’ve prayed for years that this day would come ,” he said at a news conference after his release. “I don’t blame anyone, I’m not a bitter man. I just want to enjoy the rest of my life now that I have it back.” The prosecution has great respect for the man. “Your tenacity makes you a free man today.”
In 1983, Hasting learned that he was going to jail for life. He was arrested after the body of a 30-year-old woman was found in the trunk of her own car in Los Angeles. The woman had been raped and then killed with a firearm. Despite Hasting insisting he was innocent, he was found guilty by the jury of the atrocious acts and two other murder attempts.
Maurice Hastings was convicted of murder in 1988 & sentenced to life in prison w/o parole.
From the time of his arrest, Mr. Hastings has maintained his innocence.
Earlier this month, crime scene DNA was matched to a person who was not Mr. Hastings. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/6iGVtp2c0T
— George Gascón (@LADAOffice) October 28, 2022
At the time of the murder in 1983, no DNA testing had been done. In 2000, Hastings made a request from the prison to do so with the stored traces found on the victim’s body. This request was then refused. Hastings persisted and wanted a DNA test. Last year an interest group conducted an investigation and it became clear that the spores did not contain Hastings’ genetic material.
The actual perpetrator turned out to be a man who was later convicted of armed kidnapping. The man had raped his victim and locked it in the trunk of a car. Just like in the case Hastings was wrongly convicted of. . This suspect died in prison in 2020.
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