Rape Conviction Vacated: North Carolina Man Ronnie Long Released From Prison After 44 Years

The Latest:

Ronnie Long was released from prison August 27th at 5 p.m. after spending 44 years behind bars for a rape conviction he said he didn’t commit.

The U.S. District Court says they are dropping Long’s first-degree rape and burglary convictions.  Read below for more details.

Original Story (August 26, 2020)

CONCORD, N.C. — The U.S. Court of Appeals will free Ronnie Long after spending 44 years in prison for a rape he says he did not commit.

After a new hearing on August 26th, North Carolina has asked a judge to get rid of Long’s conviction stating there was not enough evidence.

Jamie Lau, Long’s Attorney, shared the news on Twitter saying, “The State of N.C. filed a motion with the Fourth Circuit this morning asking that it immediately issue the mandate in Ronnie Long’s case. The state said it will ask the district court to enter a writ vacating Ronnie’s conviction. In short, Ronnie Long is coming home!

Lau says it will take some time for Long to get out of the conviction, but that North Carolina has set up his path to being released from prison.

Long was a 20-year-old Black man from Concord when he was convicted of raping a white woman by an all-white jury, some of whom had connections with the victim, and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

There were more than 40 fingerprints collected from the rape scene that did not much Long’s and were never shared, Long’s attorneys learned in 2015.

Long’s attorneys filed a petition to free him in order to protect his health, since Albemarle Correctional Institute has one of the worst coronavirus numbers in the state, according to a news release.