Zhang Yuhuan maintained he was tortured by police and forced to confess to the murder of two young boys in 1993.
He was China's longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate, after having served 9,778 days in the prison in Jiangxi province.
Prosecutors who reopened the case said his confession had inconsistencies and did not match the original crime.
He walked free after a high court found there was not enough evidence to justify his conviction.
Observers say China is growing more willing to quash wrongful convictions, but only criminal not political.
Footage on Chinese media showed Mr Zhang in an emotional reunion with his 83-year-old mother and his ex-wife following his release on Tuesday.