The state of North Carolina took 44 years away from an harmless man and has now solely compensated him with $750,000.
In August, North Carolina lastly launched Ronnie Long after serving 44 years in jail for a criminal offense he didn’t commit. He was convicted by an all-white jury of raping a white lady in 1976. After a long time of his case going forwards and backwards within the courts, his sentence was lastly vacated in August.
Roy Cooper, the Democratic Governor of North Carolina, after years of begging by Long’s attorneys, lastly pardoned the 64-year-old in December. Sadly, the state of North Carolina will solely compensate wrongful convictions as much as $750,000, which Lengthy has lastly acquired.
Lengthy informed The Charlotte Observer concerning the compensation, “Honest? What’s honest? Ask your self that query when these individuals took away your 20s, your 30s, your 40s, your 50s and so they began in in your 60s.”
He continued, “Print this within the paper. Is Ronnie residence but? You requested me what’s honest? I received a lifeless mom and father within the floor. You inform me what’s honest.”
Lengthy was by no means in a position to reunite together with his mom, Elizabeth Lengthy, who died on July 11 at 89 years outdated, which was a couple of month earlier than he was lastly launched. It was her prayer to see her son as a free man once more earlier than she handed away, which sadly by no means occurred.
Lengthy additionally informed The Charlotte Observer, “Every thing that’s occurred right here ain’t being ignored. Hell no, I ain’t glad. You wouldn’t be both, if you happen to had been in my place. You wouldn’t be both.”
In Might of 1976, 19-year-old Ronnie Lengthy went to court docket for a trespassing cost in Harmony, North Carolina. He may have by no means predicted doing so would have led to being accused and recognized within the courtroom because the rapist of a white lady.
Lengthy was identified by the sufferer as a result of, in response to his legal professional Jamie Lau, she testified “he was the one one within the courtroom that regarded remotely just like the one who had attacked her.”
The sufferer, who handed away in 2016, initially informed legislation enforcement the attacker was “yellow,” indicating that he was a light-skinned, Black man and she or he “by no means talked about any facial hair on her attacker.”
Lengthy had a beard, a mustache and is a dark-skinned man.
Moreover, out of the 43 fingerprints police collected from the rape scene, not one of the prints matched Lengthy’s, the Charlotte Observer reported. Nonetheless, he was rapidly convicted by an all-white jury.
In Might, Lengthy’s lawyer defended his case to the Fourth Circuit Court docket of Appeals, which included 15 members of the nation’s second highest court docket.
In line with the Charlotte Observer, North Carolina Choose James Wynn slammed the case by saying, “Prosecutors clearly had proof that any protection counsel on the earth, not solely in 1976 however (in) the historical past of this nation, would have needed or wanted and which ought to have been provided. And but, we didn’t present it.”
Ronnie Lengthy was lastly launched August 27, 2020. He spent 44 years, three months and 17 days behind bars for a criminal offense he didn’t commit.