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Freedom Friday Vigil held outside Governor’s Mansion calls for justice for Dontae Sharpe

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:44 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - A freedom vigil for Dontae Sharpe was held outside the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh Friday, demanding justice.

Sharpe served more than 26 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit in Pitt County.

Supporters at the event Friday called for the immediate pardon of Dontae Sharpe, some even camping out right in front of the Governor’s Mansion until their demands are met.

The Freedom Friday Vigil brought dozens of supporters to North Blount Street, where multiple people took turns speaking to the crowd, including Dontae Sharpe.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman also spoke, saying the state was wrong and they need to correct their wrongs by granting an immediate pardon for Sharpe.

Sharpe was 19 years old when he was convicted of murder in 1994 in Pitt County. He was finally exonerated in August 2019, but still has yet to be pardoned.

Supporters say a pardon is set to take place at the end of 2021, but believe that isn’t soon enough.

They say they have a list of demands that include asking for more transparency in the pardon process, asking for Dontae’s pardon to be issued immediately and asking for action to be taken on all of the pardons that are waiting.

Supporters say they will be in front of the Governor’s Mansion every Friday until Sharpe is immediately pardoned.

Sharpe’s pardon request was sent to the governor back in 2019 and Cooper’s office says the Office of Clemency received the request and it is under review.

The case made national news after a recent BBC News documentary aired about Sharpe.

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