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Cornelius Dupree Jr., center, raises his hands in celebration with his lawyer Nina Morrison, left, and attorney Barry Scheck in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2010. (AP)

DNA Evidence Clears Texas Man Who Spent 30 Years In Prison

Jan 4, 2011

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"You're free to go."

With those words from a judge, Cornelius  Dupree Jr. "was exonerated this morning in a Dallas courtroom," the Morning News writes.

The verdict, though, comes after Dupree already spent 30 years in prison "for a rape and robbery he didn't commit," the Associated Press adds.

"It's a joy to be free again," Dupree said after the judge's ruling (he has been out on parole since July; today's decision clears his record).

The 51-year-old Dupree was cleared of wrong-doing thanks to DNA evidence. According to the AP:

"Nationally, only two others who have been exonerated by DNA evidence spent more time in prison, according to the Innocence Project, a New York-based legal center representing Dupree that specializes in wrongful conviction cases. James Bain was wrongly imprisoned for 35 years in Florida, and Lawrence McKinney spent more than 31 years in a Tennessee prison."

Update at 5:54 p.m. ET: NPR's Wade Goodwyn has a story on All Things Considered in which he talks to folks at the Innocence Project and Dallas' new district attorney, who's leading the charge on revisiting some of these cases.

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