According to the victim’s lawyers, a $25 million settlement has been reached between a North Carolina community and the state of North Carolina over a complaint that accused authorities of malfeasance. After serving 44 years, a man was finally released after a wrongful conviction.
A formal public apology was issued from Concord for its involvement in the Ronnie Wallace case. The settlement would culminate the wrongful imprisonment complaint that Long’s lawyers had filed in 2021.
Long was a young man living in Concord, North Carolina, when he was accused of raping a white woman. In 1976, a jury in Cabarrus County that was entirely white convicted Long. At the age of twenty-one, Long received two life sentences.
The wrongful convictions clinic at Duke University’s law school helped Long with his appeal.
There was never a match between Long’s fingerprint and the forty others collected from the site. He also never had the chance to provide semen samples to his legal team.
As part of his plea for relief, a federal appeals court gave Long a second hearing in August 2020. Governor Roy Cooper completely pardoned him later that year.
A state commission eventually awarded Long $750,000, the maximum sum that states may pay to victims of wrongfully incarcerated individuals. This decision was made a few months later.
He went on to sue the Concord police in Raleigh federal court, stating that their “exceptional misconduct” led to his wrongful conviction and incarceration and that this “violated his fundamental rights.”
Long received an extra $3 million from the State Bureau of Investigation as part of the settlement.
“We “acknowledge and take responsibility for the grave errors in judgment and purposeful wrongdoing by former municipal workers that contributed to Long’s unjust conviction and incarceration,” Concord authorities said on Tuesday.
The monetary compensation is “one of the biggest wrongful conviction settlements” in the nation.