CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man released from prison after spending more than 30 years behind bars for a rape he says he didn't commit smiled and hugged his attorneys after prosecutors said they wouldn't retry him.

Stanley Wrice said he felt like he was "walking into a dream that finally came true" after Thursday's hearing. Prosecutors didn't detail their decision but said the criminal case was over.

Wrice says police beat him until he confessed to a 1982 sexual assault. His case is the latest development from a dark chapter in Chicago Police Department history in which officers were accused of torturing suspects.

Wrice was released from prison Wednesday. The 59-year-old says he played basketball with his grandchildren that evening and slept well.

One of his attorneys said a lawsuit is planned.

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  • Exonerations

    Audrey Edmunds poses at the John C. Burke Correctional Center in Waupun, Wis., <a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/exonerations/wiEdmundsSummary.html">10 years into serving an 18-year sentence for shaking a baby to death</a> while babysitting. She was freed in February 2008 after an appeals court said new research into shaken baby syndrome cast doubt on her guilt. According to Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions, experts concluded that symptoms they once thought were proof of a shaken baby can result from other causes, <a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/exonerations/wiEdmundsSummary.html" target="_blank">including accidents, illness, infection, old injuries and congenital defects.</a>

  • Exonerations

    Kirk Bloodsworth spent eight years in a Baltimore County, Md., prison, two of those on death row. He was convicted of raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl. In 1993, DNA testing both excluded Bloodsworth as the child’s killer and helped convict the real killer. It was the first capital conviction case in the U.S. to be overturned through DNA testing. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kirk-noble-bloodsworth/overturned_b_59325.html">Read Bloodsworth's firsthand account here</a>.

  • Exonerations

    Michael Blair was sent to death row in Texas for the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/michael-blair-texas-rape-compensation_n_2123212.html">murder of 7-year-old Ashley Estell </a>in 1994. More than a decade later, genetic testing showed he was innocent. But while behind bars, Blair confessed to raping two other children, a crime for which he's serving multiple life sentences. In 2012, Blair asked the state for nearly $1 million as compensation for being wrongfully convicted of Ashley's murder.

  • Exonerations

    Damon Thibodeaux was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/damon-thibodeaux-death-row_n_1924776.html">absolved of the rape and murder</a> of his 14-year-old step cousin. A seven-year investigation produced DNA evidence contradicting his confession to the crime. Investigators say Thibodeaux confessed in 1997 while under duress from detectives. The 37-year-old had spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison awaiting his execution.

  • Exonerations

    John Edward Smith, a former gang member, spent 19 years in prison for murder following a gang-related drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. He was released in September 2012 after the only <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/john-edward-smith-exonerated_n_1910026.html">witness to the incident admitted</a> that the police had pressured him to blame Smith for the murder.

  • Exonerations

    Lynn DeJac Peters <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/lynn-dejac-peters_n_2122595.html">spent more than 13 years</a> in the maximum-security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. She was wrongfully convicted of strangling her 13-year-old daughter on Valentine's Day in 1993. In 2007, DNA testing placed Peters' boyfriend, Dennis Donohue, at the scene of the crime, but prosecutors could not bring charges against him: He'd received immunity when testifying before the grand jury that originally charged Peters. Donohue was later convicted in the September 1993 strangulation death of another woman and is serving 25 years to life in prison.

  • Exonerations

    William Dillon, wrongly incarcerated in a Florida prison for 27 years, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/william-dillon-wrongly-convicted-national-anthem-tampa-bay-rays_n_1683772.html">sang the National Anthem as a free man</a> at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game in July 2012. Dillon had been charged -- just days before a scheduled Detroit Tigers tryout -- with <a href="http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/William_Dillon.php" target="_blank">beating James Dvorak to death </a>in a wooded area near Canova Beach, Fla. He was <a href="http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=530164">exonerated in 2008</a>.

  • Exonerations

    On March 29, 2012, Michael Morton of Austin, Texas, spoke to the public for the first time since he was freed from prison after spending nearly 25 years behind bars for murdering his wife. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/texas-man-imprisoned-for-_0_n_992681.html">New DNA tests done on a bandana</a> found near Morton's home discovered blood from his wife and a California felon, suggesting the the latter man, not Morton, committed the crime.

  • Exonerations

    In January 2013, former Akron, Ohio, police captain Douglas Prade was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/26/doug-prade-ohio-prisioner-dna-margo-prade_n_1831151.html">exonerated of the murder of his ex-wife</a>. He had spent 15 years in the Madison Correctional Institution outside Columbus, largely because of a bite mark found on his ex-wife's blood-soaked body. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/doug-prade-released-ex-wife-murder_n_2580876.html" target="_blank">DNA testing proved he was innocent. </a>