After 36 years behind bars, three men, Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart have been exonerated for wrongful convictions of teen murder after a review of their case in the Baltimore courthouse.
The trio was expected to be released from prison hours after a judge cleared their convictions and prosecutors dropped the charges. They were teenagers when they were sentenced to life in prison in 1984.
On Monday, 36 years after they were incarcerated, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Charles J. Peters declared them innocent.
Inside the Baltimore courthouse, there were tears and hugs from family members and friends who said they have been waiting for this moment for 36 years.
“On behalf of the criminal justice system, and I’m sure this means very little to you gentlemen, I’m going to apologize,” Circuit Court Judge Charles Peters told the men, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The Baltimore Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) reopened the investigation and worked with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and the University of Baltimore Innocence Project after Chestnut contacted the CIU to say all three were innocent.
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