CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Two men spent the last 25 years in prison for a double murder they say they didn’t commit. And on Wednesday, they’re home after the case was tossed out.
Kevin Baker and Sean Washington were sentenced to life in prison for a double murder that took place in Camden in 1995.
Two months ago, a panel of judges tossed out their convictions based on new evidence.
Both men were released from prison Wednesday afternoon, free for the first time in 25 years.
Inside of the Dare Academy building in Camden, a welcome party was being held. The theme was just as much “welcome home” as it was “welcome to 2020.”
“This modern technology that I am witnessing now with these phones, this GPS, I can’t wait to get on the computer,” Washington said.
Eyewitness News spoke with Washington and Baker just two hours after they were released from New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, where they had spent the last 25 years.
“The older guys just made us read and study and learn your case,” Washington said.
It was a case of wrongful conviction, according to the two men.
After numerous appeal attempts, in 2011, Baker wrote to the Last Resort Exoneration Project, a legal investigative group out of Seton Hall’s school of law.
The forensic evidence the project found was plentiful and convinced a panel of judges.
Last week, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced that they would not appeal the decision, therefore the indictment was dropped.
“I prayed every day, ‘Lord let me be living to see them out of that prison,'” Washington’s mother said.
Washinton’s mom, known as Miss Hank, had her prayers answered on Wednesday.
Both men were 24 when they went into prison. Now pushing 50, their freedom was shared through devices and technology largely new to them.
But just like in prison, they are eager to learn.
“Twenty-five years prepared us, as far as discipline, as far as certain things we need on the outside. We are prepared for it,” Baker said.
The original trial relied on a sole witness in the murder of Rodney Turner and Margaret Wilson. That witness acknowledged she was under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of the killings.
Washington and Baker say they didn’t really know or like each other when they were pinned for the murders, but they now consider each other brothers.