He emerged as strong and as resolute in character as he did when he walked in. Last November, Kash Delano Register was released from prison after 34 years when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge found the man had been wrongly convicted of murder and overturned the conviction.

He’s had to organize a new life these past four months, trying to regain his young-adult years which were snatched away in 1979 when a high school classmate testified that he shot and killed an elderly neighbor. Now 53, Register made 11 appearances before the parole board and maintained his innocence each time. The sister of Brenda Anderson, the so-called eye witness, told officials that the whole story was a lie.

“It was just an emotional feeling that just came out of nowhere,” Register said shortly after leaving the Twin Towers facility downtown. “Finally, after 34 years.”

Though Register’s exoneration stems primarily from research and new evidence provided by the Project for the Innocent at Loyola Marymount University, a fellow inmate may equally share in righting the wrong perpetrated in 1979. Keith Chandler was a library clerk at Folsom State Prison who, upon his release, always remembered that Register would profess his innocence, yet would not let dire circumstances ruin his faith and spirit.

“I need your help with the parole board,” Chandler recalled Register telling him. “I want to know how to explain to the board that I’m not crazy when I say ‘I’m innocent’.”

When Chandler left prison, one of his first acts was to write a petition to get a judge to appoint Register with an attorney. He found a team of attorneys and students from Loyola and they presented a new case, this time including testimony from Sheila Vanderkam, the estranged sister of Anderson, who said her sibling lied during her testimony in Register’s trial.

“This was victory,” said 76-year-old Wilma Register about her son’s release. “That was what I have prayed for, for the world to see that this is not the right man. The system can make mistakes, but nobody believes that until it happens to them.”

There was little evidence presented against Register, other than the story that he was allegedly heard arguing in the West L.A. carport of 78-year-old Jack Sasson when five shots rang out and Register was reportedly seen running from the scene. None of the fingerprints found on Sasson’s car matched Register’s and no gun was found. Detectives searched Register’s closet and found a pair of pinstriped pants with a drop of “type O” blood which matched both Register and the dead man.

The prosecution case relied heavily on the testimony of Anderson, then 19, who said she heard the shots and saw a Black man running from the scene. Under oath, Anderson identified Register, though his girlfriend testified she was with him at the time of the incident.

“The only reason he was convicted was some witnesses lied and then the prosecution and police hid some valuable evidence,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levinson who directs the team of law students at Project for the Innocent at the Westchester campus.

A number of wrongly convicted Americans were set free last year, including six from California. Texas led the way with 13 exonerations, followed by Illinois with nine, New York (eight) and Washington (seven). About two-thirds of the 87 exonerations involved rape and/or murder convictions; many of the overturned sentences were a result of false confessions after it was revealed that no crime was committed.

A report submitted last year by the National Registry of Exonerations revealed that there had been 1,281 known exonerations identified by the end of 2013; the data had been gathered from 46 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the military and at least 23 federal districts.

“The main reason for the rapid increase in the number of exonerations in California and later in New York is the nature of the searches we have been conducting,” the report stated.

At the end of 2012, California had reported 119 exonerations since 1989.

Register’s case, in some ways, is similar to the tale of Brian Banks, an All American linebacker with Long Beach Polytechnic High School, who was 16 and had a scholarship to USC when a classmate falsely accused him of rape. He spent five years in jail and five years on probation. The woman recanted her story and offered to help Banks clear his name when he was released from prison. That gesture helped lead to Banks’ freedom and his exoneration. Banks, at the suggestion of Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll who had recruited the prep star, was given a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons, the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers as well as the world champion Seahawks.

Nicole Harris of Illinois was convicted in 2005 for murdering her four-year-old son, who had actually suffocated on a loose band from a fitted bed sheet which wrapped around his neck and asphyxiated him. It was determined that Chicago police had coerced Harris into admitting guilt after 27 consecutive hours of questioning during which time she said authorities pushed and threatened her, forbid her to use the restroom and would not let her have water. Harris had spent eight years behind bars when her older son told an investigator that he had seen the younger boy play with the loose cord, tying it around his neck on a few occasions.

“There’s a lot of devastating things that happened to me,” Register told the Los Angeles Times late last year, “but there’s nothing I could do about it, so I had to accept it as it was.” A devout Christian, Register attended numerous “self-help” workshops while incarcerated. “Me being angry is only going to stagnate me going forward.”

On Sunday, the Friends of Kash Register will host a celebration and fund-raiser from 2 to 5 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings at the Baldwin Hills Plaza, 3939 Crenshaw Blvd. Organizers suggest a donation of $25 to assist Register and his family. Eso Wan Books, 4327 Degnan Blvd., is a sponsor of the event. For more details, call (323) 290-1048.