CHICAGO (WLS) -- Daniel Rodriguez has waited more than 30 years to be exonerated of a crime, for the legal affirmation he was simply a father and a husband, and not a murderer.
"It's been 31 long years," he said Monday. "I always said I was innocent. I always screamed that, be it in penitentiary or when I came home. Whoever would listen, I would tell my story."
But no one listened.
Rodriguez said his false confession for the 1991 murder was forced, framed and beaten out of him by disgraced Chicago police detectives Reynaldo Guevara and Ernest Halvorsen.
"I woke up every day believing that one day the cell door was going to be open and they would say 'We made a mistake. You're free.' but it never happened," he said.
"The verdict is in. Numerous trial courts, appellate courts, judges in Cook County have said 'Yes, Rey Guevara was engaged in a pattern of abuse,' said Anna Swaminathan, attorney with The Exoneration Project.
Rodriguez served 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He still thinks of all the people with stories just like his who still haven't been heard.
"Imagine that situation where your own words, your own false words out of threats and physical abuse cause you to be locked up for a crime you did not commit," he said.
Rodriguez is now waiting on a certificate of innocence from the state of Illinois.