By Monika Diaz
Dallas, TX (WFAA/CNN) - Two men have been officially cleared of the 1983 rape and kidnapping of a woman in Texas.
Raymond Jackson and James Williams were exonerated Monday after serving nearly 30 years behind bars.
On the record, declared innocent, it's the day James Williams and Raymond Jackson prayed for since 1983.
"It's heartbreaking and to say I'm sorry is not enough. But I hope you both have very full and happy lives. Congratulations," said Judge Susan Hawk.
After their exoneration hearing, both men celebrated at a friend's house. Williams and Jackson were already out on parole for months. They were out of prison, but freedom was still out of reach until now.
"I don't have monitors on my leg anymore," said Williams.
No more ankle monitors. No more parole officers. This day marks their new beginning.
"I dreamed for this day, right here. I wanted to show people we did not do this crime," said Jackson.
They've lost dreams and opportunities over the years. Their biggest hurt? Relatives, including their mothers, died believing they were criminals.
"My niece right here. She's such a beautiful person. She stuck by me the whole time. She believed what I said. And some of my own family didn't believe me," said Jackson.
They know those moments they can never get back. So now they are focused on their future, grateful to the people who fought for them and their freedom.
"I can kind of rejoice. I can be happy because I know it done happen. You know what I'm saying? I know just a matter of time I'm going to be able to really enjoy and do some of the things in life I really dreamed of, you know," said Jackson.
DNA evidence lead to their exoneration.
Jackson says he's now hoping to start a jewelry business.
Williams has re-connected with his childhood sweetheart, and she says they're now engaged to be married.