Ronnie Long, who spent 44 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted, is now fighting for compensation.
- Ronnie Long, 65, who was a prisoner for 44 years for a crime he did not commit, demands compensation.
- Although Mr. Long was entitled to $50,000 for each year he spent behind bars, the amount was surpassed at $750,000.
- According to Mr. Long’s attorney, his client “certainly deserves more than he has received.”
Ronnie Long, 65, who got out of prison in 2020 after being held for 44 years for a crime he did not commit, is seeking justice.
In 1976, Mr. Long, from North Carolina, was found guilty of rape and burglary after he was accused of assaulting a 54-year-old woman named Sarah Bost. He received a life-long sentence behind bars, even though there was no physical evidence he committed the alleged crime.
Despite his unfortunate fate, the innocent man never stopped fighting for freedom. Last year, after more than four decades in prison, Mr. Long was finally released and was able to return to his family.
As UNILAD reports, after being officially freed, the 65-year-old was entitled to compensation under a state law that requires he be paid $50,000 for each of the 44 years he was in prison. However, the sum was surpassed at $750,000, implying that he would only receive payment for only 15 years.
Me. Long claims his life is worth more than $750,000.
In an interview with CNN, Mr. Long’s lawyer, Jamie Lau, said his client is grateful for the compensation he has been given. Although, he insisted that “the amount is wholly inadequate to compensate him after taking away more than 44 years of his liberty.”
“He was in a cage when both his parents died; when his son had birthdays and graduations. He lost everything for those 44 years, and certainly, he deserves more than he has received.”
— Jamie Lau (@LauDurham) August 27, 2020
The wrongfully convicted man now hopes to receive the justice he deserves, as he is convinced that the state of North Carolina arrested him on purpose. Mr. Long commented:
“Everything that transpired to put me behind bars was intentional. How is my case the same as someone who is exonerated with DNA? How can you say my life is only worth $750,000? There should never be a cap on a person’s life.”
The 65-year-old has stated that the law must be addressed.
Mr. Long argues that anyone could fall victim to being convicted for a crime they had nothing to do with.
Lau supported his client’s statement, claiming:
“At least two men have been exonerated after more than 44 years of incarceration, which highlights the inadequacy of the compensation statute and that cap.
It’s also time to revisit the compensation statute as a whole, as the Governor should not have full authority over who does and does not receive compensation. A review process that is not political should be established so all men and women who have been wrongly convicted have a fair chance at compensation.”
Thankfully, despite all the challenges he is still going through, Mr. Long is now more than happy to be with his family and enjoy the freedom he was dreaming of for so many years.