48-year-old John Jerome White made the comment at a news conference Tuesday morning with the Georgia Innocence Project.
He was released Monday night from Macon State Prison after the test results came back late last week.
He broke into tears as he said when he first went to jail he saw it as something that had to happened because he wasn't living what he called a moral life.
District Attorney Peter Skandalakis of the Coweta Judicial District said authorities began investigating a new suspect after the DNA in the 1979 rape matched a file in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation database. A GBI spokesman says no new suspect is in custody.
A Meriwether County jury convicted White in 1980 of breaking into an elderly woman's home and raping her.
He was sentenced to life in prison and was paroled in 1990.
White was sent back to prison shortly thereafter to finish out his life sentence after he was convicted of drug possession and robbery.
The director of the Atlanta-based Georgia Innocence Project -- Aimee Maxwell -- says this is the seventh Georgia case her group has been involved in where a person was convicted based on eyewitness identification and cleared based on DNA.
(Copyright © 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)