County of Conviction: Ventura, California
Wrongful Conviction: First-degree Murder
Exonerated Date: 2014
Years Served: 36
In November 1978, Michael Hanline was convicted for murder and was sentenced to life without parole. Over several years, investigators uncovered police reports that had been sealed before Michael’s trial that implicated others, not Michael. The defense attorney and known drug dealer, Bruce Robertson, made concerted efforts to steer the investigation away from his clients and toward Michael. Bruce, who is since deceased, had threatened witnesses and intimidated them into testifying against Michael. Additionally, a witness placed Bruce at J.T.’s home the night he was killed. After additional DNA testing and investigation, Hanline’s conviction was reversed. He was the longest wrongful incarceration in California history.
Source: California Innocence Project
Read more about Michael’s story here.