Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were teenagers when they were sentenced to life in prison in 1984 for murdering a Baltimore teen. They were exonerated and released on Nov. 25.
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About 50 prosecutors across the country have launched Conviction Integrity Units to review old cases. Philadelphia’s unit has exonerated 10 murder defendants since last year. Armbrust said the teen defendants in this case “would never have gotten out without a Conviction Integrity Unit. Nobody could believe multiple witnesses would lie about the same event. You just have to wonder about how many cases there are in places where prosecutors aren’t willing to take a serious look at claims of innocence.”