William James Grimes was sentenced to life in prison nearly 24 years ago but always contended that he was not guilty of a 1987 rape in Hickory.
On Monday, state prison officials will release Grimes, after a panel concluded in April that it believes the inmate really was not responsible for the crime.
The N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission decided after a hearing in April that there is enough evidence to set Grimes, 65, free. He was convicted in 1988 on two counts of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree kidnapping, according to state criminal records.