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After spending 44 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, this man says his life is worth more than $750,000

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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Ronnie Long sat in jail in North Carolina for 44 years for a crime he didn't commit, and now he is planning to fight a law that says he is only owed $750,000.

(CNN)Ronnie Long sat in jail in North Carolina for 44 years for a crime he didn't commit, and now he is planning to fight a law that says he is only owed $750,000.

Due to his innocence, state law requires that Long, 65, be paid for the time he was kept in prison-- $50,000 a year.

In Long's case, it means he stopped getting paid after his 15th year in prison.

"While grateful that Mr. Long received $750,000 in compensation, the amount is wholly inadequate to compensate him after taking away more than 44 years of his liberty," Jamie Lau, Long's criminal attorney from his prior case told CNN.

Long told CNN he is hoping to fight the law and get what he deserves from a state that he believes intentionally put him in prison.

"Everything that transpired to put me behind bars was intentional," Long said.

When asked if anyone is helping him fight the law, Long said he wasn't going to name names, but there are several people who have reached out to him, but so far no lawmakers.

Lau agrees that the law needs to be looked at and fixed because Long is not the only one that has had this happen.

"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," he said.

Long said that since his release life has been a transition, and he is happy to have loving people around helping him get where he wants to go.

I am a living, walking testimony of a second chance," Long said.

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