Man Released After Spending 44 Years In Prison For Rape He Didn’t Commit
A 65-year-old man identified as Mr Ronnie Long, who spent 44 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit was freed on Thursday.
Mr Long was a 20-year-old Black man living in Concord when he was accused of raping a white woman, Sarah Judson Bost, at knifepoint in her home on the evening of the 25 April 1976.
Long remained in Jail despite decades of appeals to overturn the conviction, and though DNA evidence obtained throughout the years pointed to his innocence.
He was sentenced to 80 years in prison for the first-degree rape of Sarah Bost and first-degree burglary by an all-white jury in the 70s.
The DNA evidence in question was that hair samples and clothing fibers didn’t match those of Long’s. According to news reports, the evidence was not shared with the defense at the time of the trial.
In 2015, it was revealed that 43 fingerprints taken from the scene ‘excluded’ the prisoner as the source of the prints.
A request for a new trial was still rejected by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the same year.
Long told reporters after he was freed yesterday:
They will never ever, never ever ever, lock me up again.
This is real. I’m going to try to enjoy every minute of it.