kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

DNA Evidence Clears Texas Man Who Spent 30 Years In Prison

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, 2011. (<strong>Correction at 8:30 a.m. ET, Jan. 5</strong>: Earlier, we mistakenly said the photograph was taken in 2010.)
Mike Fuentes
/
AP
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, 2011. (Correction at 8:30 a.m. ET, Jan. 5: Earlier, we mistakenly said the photograph was taken in 2010.)

"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 , 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 Consideredin 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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.