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North Carolina Jury Awards $75 Million to Brothers Who Spent Decades in Prison After Wrongful Conviction

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A jury recently found that Henry McCollum and Leon Brown should receive $31 million after five hours of deliberation.

What We Know:

  • The money is supposed to represent the 31 years they spent in prison. The brothers were also awarded $13 million in punitive damages. Their attorney, Elliot S. Abrams, informed The Washington Post that the award is the highest combined verdict in U.S history in a wrongful conviction case. This is also the largest ever personal injury award in North Carolina.
  • The payout arrives after the brothers pursued civil action against law enforcement for violating their civil rights. They were both originally released from prison in 2014 after DNA evidence exonerated them. McCollum and Brown were 19 and 15 at the time of their arrest. They were both blamed for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie in Red Springs, South Carolina.
  • The brothers were originally brought in by police based on a tip from a “confidential informant.” The 17-year-old informant was acting on rumors she had heard in school, according to the Guardian. McCollum and Brown both signed confessions that implicated them in the murder without having lawyers present. The two men admitted that they signed the confessions without understanding what they want.
  • Brown was the state’s youngest death-row inmate at the time. McCollum, on the other hand, would become the state’s longest-serving inmate on death row. The two were retired in the early 90s and had their sentences adjusted to life in prison. In 2009 the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission took on the case and discovered new DNA evidence which would warrant Robeson County to toss their convictions five years later.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office settled their part of the case for $9 million and have declined to deliver a comment.

The post North Carolina Jury Awards $75 Million to Brothers Who Spent Decades in Prison After Wrongful Conviction appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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