Three Baltimore men who spent 36 years in prison were released Monday after authorities say they were falsely convicted of a 1983 murder.
Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were granted a writ of innocence after being convicted of first-degree murder of a middle school student, DeWitt Duckett.
"That was hell," Chestnut said of his experience in jail. "That was miserable."
Chestnut and Watkins were 16 at the time of their arrest and Stewart was 17. The men are now in their early fifties preparing to enter adulthood on the outside for the first time. At least two have never driven a car before.
After Chestnut filed an information request this past spring, he discovered new evidence that was kept from his attorneys during trial. He reached out to Baltimore's Conviction Integrity Unit, which was reviewing old convictions.
Chestnut has maintained his innocence since his arrest. The parole board denied his early release at least in part because he refused to admit responsibility for the shooting, the state's attorney said.
He wasn't just seeking justice for himself, he told CNN.
"Whatever I did for myself, I did for them too," Chestnut said of Watkins and Stewart.