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Exonerated North Carolina Man Gets $6M, But his Post Prison Work is More Inspiring

After wrongly spending 17 years in prison for the murder of a college professor, Greensboro, North Carolina man Lamonte Armstrong vowed to help people and regain precious moments with his family.

In 1988, North Carolina A&T professor Ernestine Compton was murdered in her home. And nearly six years after, Armstrong was arrested for the heinous act. However, he remained hopeful that he would be freed. Armstrong took the negative experienced and turned it positive by teaching inmates to read and write.

According to WFMY CBS News 2, new evidence earned him his freedom. He was released in 2012 and pardoned the following year. For his hardship and tenuous experience, the city of Greensboro announced a settlement of nearly $6 million last week to amend the mistake.

“I’m innocent. God knows I’m innocent,” Armstrong tells reporters. “The people that, the prosecutor, that put me away, they know I’m innocent. But they also know that I know that they know.”

Now, the freed man wants to continue helping others who may have experienced similar failures from the justice system. Armstrong is currently employed by the Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities network in Durham. He spends his days working with former prisoners as they navigate substance abuse and the criminal justice system.

“I tell people sometimes and they fall out laughing [when] I say, ‘Man, is that not a flip of events? I go from fighting the criminal justice system to being a part of [it].’ “

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