OAKLAND — A judge in Northern California on Friday freed a man who spent nearly seven years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted for attempted murder.
Ronald Ross broke down and began sobbing for 10 minutes after Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson ordered his release. A team of volunteer lawyers argued for four years that Ross was a victim of sloppy police work and lies by witnesses.
"Congratulations, Mr. Ross," said the judge who told the 51-year-old man that the justice system had failed him for a while. "(But) the important thing is that in the final process, justice is achieved."
Moments after the order was made, the judge allowed Ross' 77-year-old mother, Thelma, to hug her son for the first time since his arrest. Using her cane, she walked slowly over to the defense table for a long, emotional embrace.
"Oh, Lord. Oh, Lord," cried Thelma Ross as she hugged her son. "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus."