A Staten Island man who spent 23 years behind bars was finally cleared Thursday after his botched murder conviction was tossed out.
Grant Williams, 50, turned and hugged his lawyers in court as state Supreme Court Justice Wayne Ozzi vacated his 1997 conviction, as supporters applauded in the courtroom.
He flashed a thumbs-up as he left the room.
“Nothing I can say can undo 25 years of that nightmare,” Ozzi told him. “I hope it is a bright future for you.”
Outside the courthouse, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon hugged Grant and apologized for the delayed justice.
Grant said he was not holding a grudge.
“I just want to say to everybody, you never know how much strength you have until it’s tested,” he said. “When you’re placed in a situation where you actually have to survive, that’s where your strength kicks in for me.