Michael Morton was freed on a personal recognizance bond, KXAN-TV reported. The Court of Criminal Appeals must still approve the decision to overturn his conviction.
"This is new to me, so bear with me," Morton told reporters outside the courthouse in Georgetown. "I thank God this wasn't a capital case, that I only had life. ... I know you have a lot you want to ask me, but I can't right now ... colors are real bright to me now. I will say this, women are real good-looking right now."
Williamson County Judge Sid Harle freed Morton a day after he overturned the guilty verdict. District Attorney John Bradley, who objected to having evidence tested for DNA, did not oppose Morton's release.
Morton always denied killing his wife, Christine, saying she was still alive when he left for work. DNA testing revealed blood mixed with Christine Morton on a bandanna found nearby was not her husband's and suggests the killer committed a similar crime in Austin in 1988.
Both killings have been linked to a man whose name has not been released, prosecutors say.