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CHICAGO (CBS) — Another man is tasting freedom for the first time in nearly two decades.
James Harden walked out of Menard Correctional Center Friday afternoon, carrying all of his worldly possessions in a cardboard box.
He and two others were exonerated this week after they were wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old south suburban girl.
Harden says his release is truly a blessing.
“It’s unexplainable. I can’t tell you what it’s like, I mean, it feel good to just be exonerated for something that me and my brother and my co-defendants didn’t do,” he told reporters.
Robert Taylor caught up with relatives Thursday night. He and Harden were convicted as teenagers for the same crime.
After 19 years in prison, Harden says he’s numb and angry and doesn’t know how he’s supposed to act or feel. A third man, Harden’s brother, Jonathan Barr, will also be released from prison, probably Saturday.
DNA evidence exonerated the trio and now points to a convicted rapist who has not yet been charged in the case.