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DNA TESTS FREE MAN JAILED IN RAPE 12 YEARS

Gov. George W. Bush said today he will pardon a man who served 12 years in prison for rape but was cleared by DNA tests.

Bush said he will pardon Kevin J. Byrd as early as today after a judge this morning in Houston upheld the DNA evidence.

State District Judge Doug Shaver determined "that DNA evidence was properly handled and tested in the Byrd case and, secondly, that based on this new evidence, Kevin Byrd is innocent of sexual assault," Bush said.

Byrd, 36, was released from prison July 30 after serving 12 years. In asking for a pardon, he said, "I think I've been through enough."

Semen samples from the victim, saved from his 1985 trial, underwent testing this summer and failed to match Byrd's DNA.

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