Philly man cleared of murder after 27 years in prison

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A wrongly convicted man is finally free after serving 27 years behind bars for murder. 

Willie Veasy, 54, stepped out of a Philadelphia courthouse Wednesday with his family by his side after a judge ruled he was innocent in the 1992 shooting death of John Lewis and threw out his sentence of life without parole. 

'I get to walk out of here the same way I walked in,' Veasy said. 'An innocent man.' 

Veasy's release made it the tenth exoneration since District Attorney Larry Krasner took office last year and pledged to help reverse murder convictions through his Conviction Integrity Unit.   

Prosecutors now believe that the confession Veasy signed in 1992 was coerced by two homicide detectives who had a 'pattern and practice' of forcing false confessions out of other suspects.  

Willie Veasy, 54, stepped out of a Philadelphia courthouse Wednesday a free man after serving 27 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit

Willie Veasy, 54, stepped out of a Philadelphia courthouse Wednesday a free man after serving 27 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit

A judge ruled he was innocent in the 1992 shooting death of John Lewis and threw out his sentence of life without parole

A judge ruled he was innocent in the 1992 shooting death of John Lewis and threw out his sentence of life without parole

Veasy hugged his sister, Ketra Veasy, after exiting the Center for Criminal Justice as a free man. She was just 12 when he was sentenced

Veasy hugged his sister, Ketra Veasy, after exiting the Center for Criminal Justice as a free man. She was just 12 when he was sentenced 

Those two officers, Martin Devlin and Paul Worrell, are now retired but are being investigated by the unit. 

It was discovered that partners Devlin and Worrell had committed misconduct in Veasy's case or others.   

Veasy's release made it the tenth exoneration since District Attorney Larry Krasner took office last year

Veasy's release made it the tenth exoneration since District Attorney Larry Krasner took office last year

'Innocent people shouldn't be sitting in jail cells,' Krasner said at a news conference after Veasy was freed. 'It's not that hard. The system should be just. It should be fair.' 

Their investigation found that Devlin and Worrell acted inappropriately in the overturned case of Anthony Wright as well. 

Wright said that Devlin assaulted him before forcing him to falsely confess to raping and killing a neighbor. 

He was acquitted in a retrial in 2016 after DNA pointed to a different

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