The state Court of Criminal Appeals granted James Curtis Giles a writ of habeas corpus - a right to protest one's detention - making him the 13th Dallas County man cleared of a crime since 2001 with the help of DNA evidence.
The court ruled that "no rational jury" would have convicted Giles in light of new evidence indicating it was "another individual ... who committed the offense."
The ruling Wednesday clears Giles' record and makes it possible for him to collect compensation from the state, said Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for the Innocence Project.
In April, state District Judge Robert Francis recommended the exoneration after the District Attorney's office and Giles' attorney showed evidence indicating he was innocent of the 1982 gang rape of a Dallas woman.
Since his release in 1993, Giles has been on parole and had to register as a sex offender.
Texas leads the nation with 29 DNA exonerations, two more than Illinois, according to Innocence Project figures.