Ronnie Long, a black man who spent 44 years in prison in North Carolina for the rape of a 54-year-old woman, has been found not guilty.
US Court of Appeals Judge Stephanie Thacker stated that Long's conviction was overturned on August 27, 2020, "after it became clear that the police intentionally withheld material evidence" as a result of the revelations made on the subject.
Lawyers for Long, who was wrongfully imprisoned for 44 years, 3 months and 17 days, called the settlement ($25 million) "one of the largest wrongful conviction settlements" in the country.
"WE ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT"
"The City of Concord accepts responsibility for the significant mistakes and willful misconduct of former city employees that led to Long's wrongful conviction," the Concord City Council said in a written statement.
"While there are no measures in place to give Mr. Long and his family full restitution for all that was taken from them, through this settlement we are doing everything we can to right past wrongs and take responsibility," the statement said.
HE WAS SENTENCED TO TWO LIFE SENTENCES
According to US media reports, in 1976, at the age of 21, Long, 68, was charged with "rape and theft of a white woman" and an all-white jury returned a verdict.