news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | January 25, 2015 | 9.40 AM IST

A 70-year-old man who spent more than half his life in a North Carolina prison for two murders he didn't commit walked out a free man, holding his belongings in two white plastic bags.

Joseph Sledge, who was wrongfully convicted in 1978, said he feels wonderful about his freedom. He was freed Friday, CNN reported.

Sledge was picked up after he was spotted in Dillon, South Carolina, driving a stolen car, arrested and brought back to North Carolina, where he was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of the Davises.

During the more than three decades Sledge was in prison, he maintained his innocence, filing numerous post-conviction motions on various grounds. All were denied without hearing.

Outside the Columbus County jail, Sledge said, "When you're conscious of something you didn't do, you can live with yourself. It's between you and your maker."

Sledge, who was wrongly incarcerated for 37 years, addressed the victim's family directly, saying, "I'm very, very sorry for your loss. I hope you get closure in this matter".


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