two dallas men enjoying their first few hours of freedom right now after spending the last 12 years in prison for a murder they did not commit. that they're free at all is because of the hard work of a college student who had some career interruptions of her own. chris plan began has the story. >> reporter: a burst of applause as they walked into a packed courtroom full of family and friends. >> this is probably the best day i've ever had in my life. kind of like i've given someone a heart transplant. i've given them my heart. >> reporter: she pumped live into two. criminology major, dropped out, went back to college in hopes of some day becoming a lawyer. >> she first came to see me this is like my first case, ya'll are like a brand new baby to me. so i got to you know bring ya'll along. and she's amazing. she's amazing woman. i love her to death for doing what she did. >> that's right. [ applause ] >> reporter: he had exhausted all of his appeals. thanks to her and the innocence project along with the d.a.'s office this is his final shot at freedom. >> i have to rely on anyone who was willing to help. i put my trust in them and that's what i did. >> reporter: and his faith paid off. >> it's just a fantastic thing. i just -- i'm going to start crying now because i think i cannot believe all the hard work i did paid off. [ cheering and applause ] >> reporter: they walked out of the courtroom free men with their arms raised victorious at last. thanks to much of the hard work by natalie. in dallas, channel 8 news. >> after graduating from
uta next year she hopes to earn a law degree and some day become a judge. they say they're anxious for a big steak and sleeping in their own beds.