A man imprisoned for 18 years for a rape he didn't commit has been officially declared innocent.
A judge released 39-year-old Dwayne Allen Dail from prison in August after DNA showed he didn't rape a 12-year-old girl.
Now, Governor Mike Easley has signed a pardon of innocence for Dail, who was convicted in 1989 in Wayne County Superior Court.
Dail refused a plea bargain before his trial that would have put him on probation for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
The pardon is the fifth granted by Easley since he took office in 2001. Dail now is eligible to apply for a total of $360,000 compensation from the state.