By BRYAN ANDERSON
Associated Press/Report for America
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has pardoned a man who spent 24 years behind bars for a murder he has long said he did not commit. The pardon of innocence issued Friday allows Dontae Sharpe to apply for compensation of $50,000 a year up to $750,000 for his wrongful conviction. In 1995, Sharpe received a life sentence for first-degree murder. He was released from prison in 2019 after a medical examiner testified that the state’s theory of the shooting was not medically or scientifically possible and the state decided against pursuing a retrial. Sharpe had maintained his innocence throughout.