An innocent man who spent 44 years behind bars for a rape and burglary that he did not commit has been freed from jail.
During an interview with Good Morning Britain, the kind man said that he will be cherishing the remainder of his life.
Ronnie Long, the man that we are talking about, was convicted of rape and murder by an all-white jury back in 1976.
He was sentenced to prison despite having no matches in fingerprints and hair fibers.
64-year-old Ronnie Long was released from prison on August 27, 2020, after his legal team reviewed the evidence.
Talking about the case of Long, US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanie Thacker said that evidence, which includes semen samples, fingerprints, and hair fibers, from the crime scene was supposed to be withheld by the police.
Recently, Long was brought to speak on Good Morning Britain, where he talked about how he is handling the modern world.
Mr. Long said:
I’m still trying to get used to it. I haven’t been out too much yet. This is something I’m going to cherish for the remainder of my life. How much more time do I have on the face of the earth, I’m going to try and do the best that I can to enjoy what I have.
Long was asked by the hosts about what he was enjoying most about after being released from prison.
He said that he enjoys being with his wife and family along with eating whatever he wants.
Just the pleasure of being free to walk up the street, go downtown, buy a shirt. Just that little freedom, you understand, is enough. It’s overwhelming compared to where I come from.
Jamie Lau, the attorney of Long, is a law professor at Duke University and a faculty adviser for the Duke Law Innocence Project.
Lau helped get Long freed from the false case that was handed against him.
During an interview CNN, he said:
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. So he’s been wrongly incarcerated for 44 years. The cards were heavily stacked against him and a large part of that was the racial dynamics in North Carolina in the South, and in particular Concord, North Carolina, in 1976.
Long was tried in a small town in the 1970s in North Carolina by an all-white jury for the rape of the widow of a prominent local business executive.
It is clear that Long was sentenced harshly due to the color of his skin.