Tue, January 04, 2011
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Innocent man freed after 30 years in US prison

2011-01-04 23:53:10 GMT2011-01-05 07:53:10 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Cornelius Dupree Jr., left, raises his hand to testify while attorney Barry Scheck, right, looks on in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. Dupree served 30 years for rape and robbery before being exonerated by DNA evidence. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

HOUSTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A man in the U.S. state of Texas was declared innocent and freed on Tuesday after spending 30 years in prison on rape and murder charges.

Cornelius Dupree Jr., 51, had his conviction overturned on Tuesday after DNA evidence exonerated him, according to a CNN report.

Dupree reportedly has served more years in a Texas prison on wrongful convictions than anyone else exonerated by DNA evidence in the state's history.

Only two other people exonerated by DNA have spent more years in prison in the United States, CNN quoted the New York legal center, Innocent Project, as saying.

Texas has freed 41 wrongfully convicted people thanks to DNA testing since 2001, more than any other state, CNN said.

Dupree was accused of being one of two men who forced a 26-year- old Dallas woman and another man into a car at gunpoint and robbed them, according to court documents, which also accused the two men of raping the woman.

Both men were convicted and Dupree was sentenced to 75 years in jail. Since his arrest, Dupree has been fighting for his innocence and his appeal was turned down three times.

Under Texas compensation laws for the wrongfully convicted, Dupree is eligible for 80,000 U.S. dollars for each year he spent in prison.

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