September 2, 2020 0
After-44-years-Black-man-freed-from-prison-as-he-was-wrongly-convicted-of-rape AFTER 44 YEARS BLACK MAN FREED FROM PRISON AS HE WAS WRONGLY CONVICTED OF RAPE

A North Carolina prison has released a Black man 44 years after he was wrongly convicted of rape. On Thursday, Ronnie Long was released from the prison and looked relieved as he hugged his family. “It’s been a long road,” he said, wearing a “Free Ronnie Long” mask. “But it’s over with. It’s over with now.”

Long was convicted of sexually assaulting a 54-year-old white woman at her house in Concord, North Carolina, on April 25, 1976. The victim stated that the individual attacked her before assaulting her, after which he fled the scene. Later, she was instructed to visit a courtroom to see whether any one looked like her perpetrator.

The woman identified Long, who was brought in under charges of trespassing, although they were dropped later. A jury comprising entirely of white people found him to be guilty of both sexual assault and burglary, and he faced a life sentence. The conviction was vacated on Thursday.

Since he was convicted, “a trickle of post-trial disclosures has unearthed a troubling and striking pattern of deliberate police suppression of material evidence,” wrote US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanie Thacker.

According to reports, samples of semen and fingerprints did not match those of Long and Thacker noted that the law enforcement intentionally withheld Long.

“Because of the deceit that occurred at trial, Ronnie and his counsel at the time didn’t have the benefit of that evidence to present to the jury,” Attorney Jamie Lau told CNN. “So, he’s been wrongly incarcerated for 44 years.”

Long expressed to reporters that he was glad to be around his loved ones again. However, he wished that his mother, who passed away six weeks ago, were still alive to watch him be a free man. She waited for his release and reportedly, her last words were “Is Ronnie home yet?”

Long’s attorney is confident that the charges will be dismissed soon.

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