Another Black Man Freed By DNA Evidence After 38 Years In Pen

Another Black Man Freed By DNA Evidence After 38 Years In Pen

DNA Evidence

In this photo provided by Cal State LA, Maurice Hastings hears instructions at a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court where a judge dismissed his conviction for murder after new DNA evidence exonerated him, Oct. 20, 2022, in Los Angeles. (J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA via AP)

Another innocent Black man who was wrongfully imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit has finally been released after DNA evidence exonerated him.

Maurice Hastings, 69, had been serving a life sentence for a murder and two attempted murders in 1983. His convictions were vacated on Oct. 20, according to a report by The Associated Press.

“I prayed for many years that this day would come,” Hastings said at a press conference. “I am not pointing fingers; I am not standing up here a bitter man, but I just want to enjoy my life now while I have it.”

The Conviction Integrity Unit and Los Angeles Innocence Project advocated on Hastings’ behalf in light of the new evidence.

Hastings was serving a life without parole sentence for the murder of Roberta Wydermyer, who was sexually assaulted and then shot to death. He’s maintained his innocence since the beginning and had tried to get tested for DNA evidence in the past.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said Hastings experienced a “terrible injustice.”

“What has happened to Mr. Hastings is a terrible injustice,” Gascón said. “The justice system is not perfect, and when we learn of new evidence which causes us to lose confidence in a conviction, it is our obligation to act swiftly.”