Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cleared man: Freedom like waking from coma

updated 7:01 p.m. ET, Thurs., Aug 20, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. - Kenneth Ireland recently got a good look at himself in a real mirror for the first time in more than 20 years, and realized just how much he had aged in prison.

A Connecticut judge on Wednesday dismissed murder and rape charges against Ireland, after DNA tests showed he could not have committed the crime.

"It was a surreal moment," Ireland told The Associated Press on Thursday in his first in-depth interview since being released from prison. "I've never been outside in such an open environment without handcuffs and shackles. I didn't have to ask permission to walk any where or move around as I pleased."


Ireland is the third Connecticut inmate freed from prison in the past three years based on new DNA testing. The Connecticut Innocence Project represented all three men. More than 240 people nationwide have had wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing, according to the group.

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