3 Baltimore Men Praise God After Being Released From Prison 36 Years After Wrongful Murder Conviction

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.

According to The Washington Post, the exonerations were set in motion due to the perseverance of Chestnut, now 52, who kept pushing for a review of the case against him and his childhood friends.

This spring, his claim of innocence was picked up by the Baltimore City state’s attorney’s office’s Conviction Integrity Unit which found that the convictions were based on false witness testimony as well as evidence of another assailant being ignored.

“This is overwhelming,” Chestnut told media of his release. “I always dreamed of this. My mom, this is what she’s been holding on to forever. To see her son come home.”

Chestnut and his friends were held together for 12 years at the Maryland Penitentiary before they were eventually split up.

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Source: Christian Post