Friday 27 April 2018

Ex-prisoner given free burgers for a year after serving 36 years for murder he did not commit

On leaving jail 69-year-old requested a burger like those he had seen 'in the commercials'
On leaving jail 69-year-old requested a burger like those he had seen 'in the commercials'

Andrew Buncombe

Although Michael Hanline did not opt for an entirely healthy meal when he walked out of prison, most people would probably have forgiven him.

After having spent 36 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, he had one thing on his mind – a burger and fries. Better still, a burger with cheese and bacon on top, like those he had seen “in commercials”.

Now, the burger chain that Mr Hanline visited when he walked free, has offered him free meals for a year.

Mr Hanline was released in November last year. But last week, a judge announced that the charges he had faced had been completely dropped. As a result, the California Innocence Project, the organisation that had fought for his name to be cleared, released the video of him eating.

“He is finally free,” Justin Brooks, Mr Hanline’s lawyer and director of the group, told the Los Angeles Times.

Mr Hanline clearly enjoyed his burger.

“My oh my,” says Mr Hanline as he takes a bite of his burger. “That’s what meat tastes like, huh?”

Indeed, as he sets about demolishing his half-pound Mile High Bacon Cheeseburger, with fries and a drink, one of his supporters points out that he could be be making a commercial for Carl’s Jr.

Reports said that Mr Hanline was convicted of the 1978 murder of a truck driver named JT McGarry. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Associated Press said that when evidence used in the case was reexamined, it was discovered that the DNA at the crime scene did not match that of Mr Hanline. It also emerged that prosecutors had withheld evidence that may have been of use to his defence at the trial.

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