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A Philly man was cleared of murder after 34 years by evidence that was in the police file all along

More than 30 years ago, based only on the statements of two witnesses who either recanted or failed to appear in court, Curtis Crosland was convicted of the 1984 murder of South Philadelphia store owner Il Man Heo and sentenced to life in prison.

On Thursday, Crosland, 60 — a father of five and grandfather of 32 — was released from the State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Montgomery County. So many loved ones crowded onto his sister’s narrow block in the city’s Cobbs Creek section, screaming and hugging, that traffic ground to a halt.

“I just came home after 34 years. I’ve been exonerated,” Crosland apologized to one driver. She responded, “Praise God!”

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