(DALLAS) -- Cornelius Dupree, Jr. is free for the first time in 30 years.
Since DNA testing was first instituted in 2001, Texas has led the nation in releasing wrongly convicted prisoners. Dupree was the 41st to be sprung from a state prison after being exonerated by DNA testing.
In 1979, Dupree and another man were arrested and convicted of robbing a couple they allegedly took hostage. The woman also told police that both men had raped her.
Dupree and co-defendant Anthony Massingill were each sentenced to 75 years in prison. Dupree insisted from the onset that he was innocent of the crime, claiming he was the victim of mistaken identity.
Dupree had opportunities before now for early release, providing he admitted to his alleged crime. He refused.
Earlier this year, DNA evidence proved Dupree’s innocence and on Tuesday, a judge in Dallas officially overturned the conviction, meaning Dupree has no criminal record.
Now 51, Dupree said Tuesday, “I must admit there is a bit of anger, but there is also joy, and the joy overrides the anger. I'm just so overwhelmed with the joy of being free.”
Defense attorney say that if procedures regularly used today were available when Dupree was arrested three decades ago, his case would have never gone to trial.
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