Man held in Italy jail for 18 years killed in Somalia blast
Cornelius Dupree Junior became a free man on Tuesday after his conviction was overturned by authorities in the US state of Texas.
He was accused of being one of the two men who raped and robbed a 26-year-old woman in 1979.
Following the event, the victim identified Dupree and Anthony Massingill, who was also convicted for the crime, from a photo line-up.
A year later, the African-American was sentenced to 75 years in prison for armed robbery but was never tried on the rape charge.
Since the day of his arrest, Dupree has been fighting for his innocence, claiming that he was mistakenly identified as the suspect.
The Court of Criminal Appeals turned him down three times.
The 51-year-old was finally released on mandatory supervision in July 2010. DNA test results proved his innocence roughly one week later.
Dupree told CNN that he had "mixed emotions" about the hearing considering how long he had been in jail.
"I must admit there is a bit of anger but there is also joy, and the joy overrides the anger," he said.
Texas has freed 41 wrongly convicted inmates as a result of DNA evidence since 2001.
Dupree served more years in prison than anyone who has been freed by DNA evidence in the US state.
"Mistaken identification has always plagued the criminal justice system," Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, told CNN.
She added that the method has put "an enormous number" of wrongly accused people in jail, while "the real perpetrator goes free."
No group has claimed responsibility for his murder, but such incidents bear all the hallmarks of past attacks in Somalia by Al-Shabaab militants.