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Banker's Fundraising Campaign Raises More than $40,000 for Wrongfully Convicted Man Who Spent 24 Years in Prison

May 2, 2014

Wall Street banker Alex Sutaru has helped raise more than $40,000 for Jonathan Fleming, who spent 24 years in prison for a 1989 murder he did not commit.

More than 600 people in 14 countries have donated to the online campaign, which began on April 10. The money will help Fleming with rent, food, and other expenses while he is looking for a job. Fleming left prison with less than $100 and has been staying with cousins since his release, the New York Daily News reports. Sutaru said he thinks people donated because they recognize that donating even a little can “help this person integrate back into society and build a life for himself that was wrongly taken away from him.”

Fleming was convicted in the August 1989 murder of Darryl Rush, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn. Though Fleming and his family were on a trip to Disney World at the time of the murder, he was convicted and sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. A newly discovered phone receipt proving that Fleming was in Florida just hours before the killing led to his release three weeks ago, the Daily News reports.

Sutaru said he was impressed that Fleming maintained a positive attitude despite his situation, according to the Daily News. And Fleming expressed gratitude for the support: "People, you know, I never thought they'd do this for me."

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