CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to consider the state of Ohio's appeal against Joe D'Ambrosio.
D'Ambrosio spent 21 years in prison for a murder he maintains he did not commit. The Supreme Court's ruling effectively exonerates D'Ambrosio since it prevents the state from pursuing another trial.
Previously, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that D'Ambrosio must be released after widespread prosecutorial misconduct was uncovered.
D'Ambrosio's conviction came in the 1988 murder of Tony Klann. The 19-year-old's body was found in a creek at a Cleveland park.
U.S. District Court Judge Kate O'Malley overturned D'Ambrosio's conviction in 2006, after ruling prosecutors withheld ten pieces of evidence from his defense team. D'Ambrosio was released from prison in 2009.
D'Ambrosio becomes the sixth Ohioan and 140th person nationwide to be released from death row.
In a Tuesday statement, D'Ambrosio said, "Today was 23 years in the making. ... Justice has finally prevailed."