updated 10/1/2009 9:02:02 AM ET 2009-10-01T13:02:02

A Texas man who spent more time in prison than any other inmate before being exonerated by DNA evidence has been pardoned by the governor of Texas.

The official declaration of James Woodard's innocence clears the way for the Dallas man to collect millions of dollars from the state.

Gov. Rick Perry issued the pardon Wednesday, 18 months after Woodard was released from prison after spending more than 27 years in prison for a 1980 murder he didn't commit.

Woodard was the boyfriend of the victim, who was found sexually assaulted and strangled.

One of two eyewitnesses recanted her testimony, and subsequent DNA testing showed Woodard did not commit the sexual assault.

More on: DNA testing

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