Prosecutors have decided not to retry a man who was convicted more than 30 years ago for a rape he says he did not commit, the Associated Press reports.
Stanley Wrice, now 59, was officially exonerated on Wednesday and the case completely closed when Cook County Judge Richard Walsh concluded Thursday, “The case is dismissed.”
“I feel like I am walking into a dream that finally came true,” Wrice told the AP.
Prosecutors refused to discuss why they chose to drop the rape charges, with Assistant Special Prosecutor Rafael Bombino simply saying, “it’s over now.”
After being released on Wednesday, Wrice told the AP that he played basketball with his children and had a good night’s rest.
His lawyers will file a lawsuit on his behalf soon and also plan to apply for a “certifcate of innocence,” which could make Wrice eligible for almost $200,000 from the state. Wrice claims that he was tortured into giving a false confession.
“This is the official end of this travesty of justice,” one of Wrice’s attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean, said Thursday. “But it is the beginning of his life.”
Wrice already has a job lined up, which he will start next week. He’ll be working for the Chicago Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to investigating wrongful convictions. The group supported Wrice throughout his case.