Two half brothers wrongfully sent to death row have been awarded $75 million in damages after spending decades behind bars for the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.
2 Brothers Who Spent 31 Years On Death Row For Rape & Murder Which They Didn’t Commit, Get ₦31 Billion
1976 school photo of Henry McCollum.
Attorneys for the men have said they were scared teenagers who had low IQs when they were questioned by police and coerced into confessing.
McCollum was then 19, and Brown was 15. Both were convicted and sentenced to death.
In a June 10, 1987 photo, Leon Brown sits in the day room of his Death Row cell block in Raleigh, NC’s Central Prison.
A jury decided Mr Henry McCollum and Mr Leon Brown should received $31 million each in compensatory damages, $1 million for every year spent in prison.
The jury also awarded them $13 million in punitive damages.
Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams said:-
‘The first jury to hear all of the evidence including the wrongly suppressed evidence found Henry and Leon to be innocent, found them to have been demonstrably and excruciatingly wronged, and has done what the law can do to make it right at this late date.’
Brothers McCollum and Brown have pursued the civil case against law enforcement members since 2015, arguing that their civil rights were violated during the interrogations that led to their convictions.
The two were released from prison in 2014 after DNA evidence that pointed to a convicted murderer exonerated them.