NC man who says he was wrongly convicted of rape 44 years ago to be released from prison

State - Regional

CONCORD, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A man who was convicted and sentenced to 80 years for rape in 1976 will soon be released from prison, according to his lawyer Jamie Lau on Wednesday.

“The State of NC 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 tweeted.

According to a Change.org petition, Long has been wrongfully imprisoned for rape since May 10, 1976. The group said Long, now 64, was convicted by an all-white jury, “with no evidence linking him to the crimes other than the contaminated, cross-racial eye witness identification.”

“While it will take some time for the courts to do what is needed to vacate the conviction, the State has set in motion a process that will lead to Ronnie’s freedom. I spoke w/ Ronnie this morning. He grateful, overwhelmed, and looks forward to reuniting with his loved ones,” Lau tweeted.

Ronnie Long’s wife, AshLeigh, took to FB on Wednesday to express her joy in his soon-to-be release.

“Happy early birthday to me!! Ronnie Long will be a free man!!! The state is no longer contesting his conviction! #FreeRonnieLong #TeamRonnieLong,” AshLeigh Long wrote.

Long has maintained his innocence before and after his conviction.

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