CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Ronnie Long is still getting adjusted to life outside of prison.
On Aug. 27, he was freed after the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, deemed his constitutional right to a fair trial were denied.
After 44 years, Long and his wife Ashleigh, knew it would be difficult getting him adjusted to things like technology, but not the basics of life.
“Getting him established. social security, Medicare/Medicaid. He hasn’t existed for 44 years,” Mrs. Long explained. “It was a hassle getting him a bank account.”
Long says he’s living off donations through his website “FreeRonnieLongNow.org.”
“This is what I’m living on. I’m living on donations from the kindness of people heart to take my situation and look at it with some compassion and say, I’m going to give him five dollars.”
In North Carolina, a person deemed wrongfully convicted can only receive a max of $750,000 from the state. They’re eligible for $50,000 each year they’re imprisoned.
“How in the hell with all the constitutional violations in my case, it took my 44 years to show the people to do the right thing, the state still ain’t do nothing?” Long questioned.
Governor Roy Cooper was asked at his Wednesday’s COVID briefing about Long’s Pardon of Innocence petition, he said in part, “That petition from Mr. Long, which I think was received a week or so ago, will receive careful consideration by me and by my office. It is a significant power of the governor to be able to make decisions about what a judge and jury have done, and I take that power under the constitution very seriously.”
Governor Cooper’s office said since 2017, the governor has received 11 pardon of innocence petitions – with none being issued.
Both Long and his wife heard what Cooper said during the conference, and they’re not letting up on their request anytime soon. Long said. “The same way I fought conviction; I’m going to fight to be pardoned.”
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