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Man, in prison for 30 years, released from prison after DNA clears him of rape


KANSAS CITY — Robert Nelson sat quietly at sister’s table, admittedly nervous about talking to a reporter about the 30 years he spent in prison and the rape conviction that changed his life.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Nelson said.

Nelson spent more than half of his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of a 1983 rape. He was sentenced to 70 years for the crime, before being exonerated by DNA evidence earlier this month.

That freedom came with a lot of adjustments for Nelson, 49.

“One of the biggest things was learning how to use the phone. I never used a text phone. When I got locked up they didn’t have text and cell phones,” Nelson said

Decision making is also a skill that Nelson has to work on after spending so much time behind bars.

“It’s hard to decide what you want when you walk into a store because you’ve got the freedom to choose. And inside you don’t have the freedom to choose you got to get what every they give you,” Nelson added.

On June 12th, Nelson was released from prison after DNA testing exonerated him of the 1984 rape conviction. The victim identified Nelson as her attacker on a police line-up, but was wrong.

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