CHICAGO — A 52-year-old man who has spent more than three decades in prison for the murder of two teens has been exonerated.

Francisco Benitez was convicted in September of 1991 but says he was framed by Chicago Police for the 1989 murder of two teens in his neighborhood.

Benitez, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to life in prison, but on Tuesday, friends and family smiled as they left the Cook County courthouse after learning that he could finally come home after 34 years.

At a hearing back in April, the court considered evidence from multiple witnesses including two who actually saw the shooting. Both made it clear that Benitez was not the person who committed the crime. An officer involved in the arrest also testified that he never believed Benitez was guilty and said that he always felt they arrested the wrong person.

The new evidence persuaded the judge that Benitez was likely not guilty and that his confession was coerced. Finding that his murder conviction should be vacated.

Benitez is not the first man to be exonerated surrounding misconduct related to two specific detectives within the Chicago Police Department.

“This is the third exoneration resulting from the investigative misconduct of Mr. Bogucki and Mr. Schalk. The third man to have a conviction vacated and come home. Based on actions they took as police officers to frame innocent men,” Anand Swaminathan, the Attorney for Benitez, said.

Benitez was officially found innocent by a judge on Tuesday and was able to return home for the first time in three decades.

Benitez is being released on bond with some conditions. The state could choose to retry the case if they want and another hearing is scheduled for late September.