Alberto Sifuentes and Jesus Ramirez are free men for the first time since someone shot and killed Evangelina Cruz.
"I believe in one thing," said Jesus Ramirez. "If I do something I have to pay, I [am] responsible, but I don't do anything, I don't have to pay."
Both men came to Texas from Mexico seeking the American dream.
On August 7, 1996 that dream quickly became a nightmare.
"These people arrest me and I say, 'I'm going to jail, for what?' I said 'okay.' I was thinking these guys are going to turn me loose pretty soon, but they never did," said Ramirez.
"The criminal justice system is a broken system, particularly in Texas, and everyone knows that," said Barry McNeil, the pro bono defense attorney.
Ramirez and Sifuentes never lost hope.
Twelve years later, the grand jury declined to reindict them them for Cruz's murder, and they are finally vindicated.
"I feel good. I feel free," said Ramirez.
"I still don't believe it myself when the man go inside and say 'you're free'... I say 'what? Really?' He said, 'go ahead. Get your stuff and hurry' and get my stuff before they change your mind or something."