Three Baltimore men who each served 36 years in prison after they were wrongfully convicted of murder as teenagers praised God with their family and friends after they were exonerated and released Monday.
“I really don’t have the words to say, but I just thank God. It’s surreal (to be released),” Andrew Stewart told WBAL-TV Baltimore.
Stewart, along with Alfred Chestnut and Ransom Watkins, were all just 16-years-old when they were first imprisoned for the murder of Dewitt Duckett, 14, on Nov. 18, 1983, at Harlem Park Junior High School.
On Monday, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Charles J. Peters declared all three men innocent and apologized for what happened to them, The Washington Post reported.
“On behalf of the criminal justice system, and I’m sure this means very little to you, I’m going to apologize,” Peters said.
Stewart’s mother, Mary Stewart, also praised God in an interview with WBAL-TV.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to hug my son in about 20-some years. This is wonderful. God bless, God is good all the time, not sometimes, but all the time,” she said.