Spending one day in prison could be hell for people, especially for someone who hasn’t done anything. But, Dontae Sharpe didn’t spend a day. Instead, he’s spent 24 years wrongfully convicted. Back in 1994, a 19-year-old black boy was convicted for murder and was given life in prison. But, after finding new evidence which further strengthened Sharpe’s case, he’s finally been released from prison, and after 24 years in prison, he’s finally a free man again!
As a lot of you already know, this isn’t the first such case where a person is wrongfully convicted and spends time in prison. But, to be honest with you, hundreds if not thousands of people are wrongfully convicted and are spending their lives in prison, serving someone else’s sentence. Luckily Sharpe got his freedom back and is now a free man.
After a pathologist revisited his case, Sharpe was exonerated back in 2019. Back in 1994, Sharpe was sentenced to life in prison after the court found him guilty for the murder of George Radcliffe, another North Carolina resident. However, Sharpe didn’t back down from proving his innocence, and finally, he managed to get the evidence needed, which set him free!
It turns out that there was a severe lack of evidence putting Sharpe on the murder scene, and a key witness was lying on the stand on the hearing, which took place more than 2 decades ago.
Wonderful news for Dontae Sharpe, a client of Duke Law's Wrongful Convictions Clinic, who received a pardon of innocence from NC Gov. Roy Cooper earlier today. https://t.co/YBAB4q8PnM
— Duke Law (@DukeLaw) November 12, 2021
A CNN report says that Sharpe’s conviction was overturned by a judge back in 2019, and he was finally allowed a new trial. The court discovered an inconsistency in the key witness’s testimony and the autopsy reports. So today, Sharpe is finally free because the new evidence managed to overturn his conviction.
Sharpe spent his time in prison wisely, and instead of staying there and not doing something, he decided to be persistent and prove he was innocent. He stated that the consistency and perseverance came from his mother:
“All through my life, she always said… ‘If you didn’t do it, don’t say you did. And I’m going to have your back all the way.’”
Two years after the first sight of freedom, he finally got to step outside of prison ground.
Sharpe doesn’t know what’s next for him!
“I could only take it day for day, one step at a time like I did while I was incarcerated, while I was in prison,” he said. “I know God got something greater for me, but right now, I’m just stepping towards that, one step at a time.”
CNN state that Sharpe’s wrongful conviction might gain him $50.000 for each year he spent in prison. That’s $750.000 for the 24 years he spent in prison.