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.
A jury in a North Carolina federal civil rights case on Friday decided Henry McCollum and Leon Brown should received $31 million each in compensatory damages, $1 million for every year spent in prison, The News & Observer reported.
The eight person 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 over the death of Sabrina Buie.
‘I´ve got my freedom,’ McCollum said. ‘There´s still a lot of innocent people in prison today. And they don´t deserve to be there.’
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Source: Daily Mail