Jonathan Fleming Indigogo

No amount of money could ever make up for 24 years of wrongfully imprisonment, but the financial support of hundreds of strangers can go a long way toward helping a man make a new start.

Jonathan Fleming was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a 1989 shooting in New York, one that happened while Fleming was actually more than a thousand miles away.Prison garden screenshot MD Dept Public Safet

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Fleming was on a family vacation at Disney World in Florida at the time, but he couldn’t prove it— until earlier this year, when lawyers found a phone receipt showing he was, in fact, in Florida at the time of the shooting.

When Fleming was released from prison in April, he only had $93 dollars to his name. That’s when Wall Street banker Alex Sutaru, a man he’d never met, stepped in and set up a crowdfunding site for the newly exonerated Fleming.

In a matter of months, 900 people from more than a dozen countries chipped in more nearly $50,000 to help Fleming pay his bills while he searched for a job.Cafe Momentum-by-SantonJStephens

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Fleming had never before heard of crowdfunding and couldn’t believe strangers would donate money for him to rebuild his life.

“I was terrified, and I had no idea how i would be able to survive,” Fleming wrote in a thank you statement on the Indiegogo site. “And then, in a moment, I became one of the luckiest people alive.”

(READ more at the New York Daily News) – Photo: Indiegogo

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