See What Freedom Tastes Like for a Guy Released After 36 Years Wrongful Imprisonment

Meet Michael Hanline. He spent 36 years locked up behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

Since 1999, the California Innocence Project has been working to free Michael Hanline.

Back in 1978, Hanline was arrested for the murder of J.T. McGarry, and later convicted of first-degree murder. Although he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Ventura Country District Attorney’s Office announced that new evidence caused a judge to throw out the sentence. According to officials, this was the first time that the DA’s office in Ventura County recommended a court set aside a conviction.

CIP filed a petition based on favorable evidence withheld from the defense. Additionally, DNA testing showed Hanline was not involved. He was released on November 24, 2014.

Watch his first steps of freedom in the video above.