Maurice Hastings found not guilty of murder

Maurice Hastings is found innocent of a murder he committed

Maurice Hastings will be found virtually innocent of a murder he did not commit on Wednesday March 1, 2023 after spending nearly four decades in prison trying to convince prosecutors to test DNA that proved his innocence. (Screenshot from a Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office hearing)

A California judge on Wednesday issued a rare ruling acquitting a man who had served nearly four decades in prison for a rape and a murder he did not commit after DNA tests pointed to another suspect.

Maurice Hastings was found virtually innocent by a Los Angeles judge on Wednesday. Hastings was acquitted after LA County prosecutors — the same agency that prosecuted him and originally sought the death penalty against him in the 1983 case — asked the judge to acquit the 69-year-old man.

“You deserve to be heard in a public courtroom that, in fact, you are not guilty of the crime,” Martha Carrillo, deputy chief of the prosecutor’s integrity of beliefs unit, said in court Wednesday. “And with this appeal to the court comes an apology, an apology that is long overdue.” Maurice Hastings found not guilty of murder

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