Apr 24,2007 00:00
CHICAGO - A Chicago man who spent 25 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit was the 200th person cleared by DNA evidence in the United States.
A Cook County, Ill., judge on Monday dropped all the charges against Jerry Miller, 48, who was released on parole in March 2006.
A crowd of Miller's supporters cheered and clapped when Judge Diane Gordon-Cannon vacated Miller's conviction, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Miller has always maintained his innocence in the 1981 rape in a Chicago parking garage for which he was convicted of rape, robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery and sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Miller has been rebuilding his life since his release on parole, but his exoneration meant true freedom, he said in an interview days before Monday's brief hearing.
"I really need to hear from the judge, 'your record is clear, we know you didn't do it,' before I feel truly free," Miller told USA Today. "I'm waiting for this to be finally, truly over."
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