After serving 32 years in jail for a murder he said he did not commit, a San Francisco man is free again.
Joaquin Ciria walked out of jail Wednesday two days after a San Francisco judge overturned his conviction due to new evidence.
Ciria was greeted by cheers as he walked out of San Francisco's main jail. He praised San Francisco courts for re-examining his case.
"I know without a question that if this happened to me in any other country in the world I might not have got the opportunity for this day," Ciria said.
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Ciria was accused of murdering his friend, Felix Bastarrica, outside a South of Market motel in 1990.
On Monday, a San Francisco judge overturned Ciria's murder conviction, agreeing that new witness testimony would have compelled a jury not to convict him.
Among the first people to hug Ciria at his release was his 32-year-old son Pedro, who was 6 months old when his father was arrested.
"Very surreal," Pedro said. "It feels wonderful hugging him for the first time outside those walls and gates or seeing him behind the glass."
Ciria's case is the latest to be taken up by Santa Clara University's Northern California Innocence Project.
A team of attorneys and law students reviewed the details of the case over two years and then forwarded their findings to the San Francisco District Attorney's Innocence Commission.
This is the first exoneration for District Attorney Chesa Boudin's newly-formed panel.
For Ciria, he said he has a lot of catching up to do with his son and friends.
When asked what he wants to do next, Ciria, who was born in Cuba, said, "Today, I would like to eat some Cuban food."