Michael Hanline Eats A Hamburger After 36 Years Of Wrongful Imprisonment, Thus Satisfying The Most Well-Earned Fast Food Craving In History — VIDEO
Michael Hanline spent 36 years in a California prison for a murder he didn’t commit. The longest-serving wrongfully imprisoned inmate in California’s history, Hanline was finally cleared of all charges on Wednesday, when the Ventura County district attorney’s office dropped the case due to a lack of evidence. So what was one do after 36 years of wrongful imprisonment? Order a bacon cheeseburger! Video from the California Innocence Project shows Hanline walking out of the Ventura County Jail with his wife and lawyer. They promptly travel to a fast food restaurant, where Hanline orders a burger as a free man for the first time in over three decades.
Hanline was found guilty for the murder of G.T. McGarry in 1980. In 1999, when Justin Brooks started the California Innocence Project, a program based at the California Western School of Law that seeks to free wrongfully-convicted prisoners, Hanline contacted him about taking on his case. The CIP discovered major problems with the evidence presented against Hanline, including the fact that DNA evidence collected at the crime scene did not match Hanline’s. According to the LA Times, Hanline was allowed to leave prison last November after a judge overturned his conviction. For months, however, Hanline was required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet while the district attorney’s office accessed whether to retry the case. On Wednesday, a judge finally dismissed the charges, and Hanline is officially free.
The CIP’s video shows Hanline’s initial release in November 2014. After leaving the jail and speaking to the press, Hanline, along with his wife and lawyers, went to celebrate at what appears to be a Carl’s Jr. This is what a man eating a hamburger after 36 years in prison looks like:
In the video, Hanline seems understandably overwhelmed by being outside after so long in prison, and positively bewildered by all of the options available to him at the restaurant (When a server asks if he wants to make his meal a combo, it’s clear that he has never heard of such a thing.) Hanline remarks, “It doesn’t seem, I guess, actually real yet.”