Ronnie Long, a Black man from #NorthCarolina, has received a historic $25 million settlement, marking a significant moment in his life after spending 44 years wrongfully imprisoned for the alleged rape of a prominent white woman. Long settled his civil lawsuit with the city of Concord, receiving $22 million from them and an additional $3 million from the #NorthCarolina State Bureau of Investigation. This $25 million settlement is the second-largest ever recorded for a wrongful conviction case.
Long's exoneration and the subsequent settlement were celebrated by his legal team, with clinical professor Jamie Lau acknowledging that it was a significant step forward for him. The city of Concord also issued a rare public apology to Long, expressing deep remorse for the harm caused by his wrongful conviction and stating their commitment to righting past wrongs.
Long's wrongful conviction in 1976 was marred by issues with jury selection, the absence of physical evidence linking him to the crime, and suggestive identification procedures arranged by the police. After years of legal battles, Long's due process rights were deemed violated by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2020, leading to the overturning of his conviction and his release. Governor Roy Cooper later pardoned him, and he received a $750,000 settlement from the state.
Since his release, Long has been actively involved in criminal justice reform efforts and is using part of his settlement to support these initiatives. His case serves as a powerful example of the need for justice in wrongful conviction cases and aims to set a standard for others seeking exoneration.
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Link: NBC News