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Philadelphia man who spent 24 years in prison is exonerated

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia man who spent 24 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit has been exonerated.

Shaurn Thomas’ conviction was removed during a hearing Tuesday. His lawyers say he could be released later Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says (http://bit.ly/2rxmOgl ) the courtroom erupted in cheers from his family and lawyers with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Thomas had been convicted of participating in the slaying of a businessman who was shot in November 1990 while taking $25,000 to a check-cashing store.

Thomas claimed he was at a center for juvenile offenders for an unrelated offense on the day of the killing.

The jury wasn’t swayed, and he earned a life sentence in 1993.

Prosecutors could choose to refile charges but haven’t said if they will.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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