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Man exonerated after serving 34 years in prison files suit

November 24, 2015

A California man who was exonerated of murder after serving 34 years of a life sentence has filed a federal lawsuit against Ventura County, the district attorney's office and the sheriff's office.

Michael Hanline was 69 years old when he was freed from prison last November. A judge formally dismissed his murder case in April. Hanline had been convicted of killing a friend in Ventura in 1978.

The California Innocence Project, whose lawyers worked for 15 years to free him, said Hanline was the longest-serving wrongfully incarcerated inmate in California history.

The Ventura County Star reported Monday that Hanline's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Special Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz, who heads the county's conviction integrity unit, declined to comment on the suit.

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