NewsRecord compensation for former U.S. death row inmates

Record compensation for former U.S. death row inmates

Two half-brothers have been imprisoned innocently for over 30 years. After their release, they are filing a civil complaint against law enforcement agencies. Now there was a decision.

Raleigh (AP) – For more than three decades, two brothers in the United States were wrongly behind bars, now they are receiving $ 84 million in compensation. A North Carolina jury awarded Henry McCollum and Leon Brown $ 1 million each for every year spent in prison plus a $ 13 million fine, according to the US media.

In addition, according to reports, the Robeson District Sheriff’s office had separately agreed to a payment of $ 9 million. This gives them the equivalent of around 69 million euros.

The half-brothers, both reportedly mentally retarded, were arrested as teenagers for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1983 and later sentenced to death. They had made confessions at the time, but later revoked them. In the 1990s, Brown’s sentence was commuted to life. In 2014, a DNA test helped both of them to freedom. Using a cigarette from the scene of the crime, traces that led to another man were found.

After their release, the two black brothers were reported to have launched a federal civil lawsuit against law enforcement agencies. “The jury could not have sent a stronger message that the citizens of this country will not tolerate law enforcement misconduct and will no longer blindly believe what they say about marginalized groups,” lawyer Elliot S. Abrams told the Washington Post on Sunday.

“I thank God,” said McCollum in tears after the verdict on Friday, as the regional newspaper “The News & Observer” reported. “I have my freedom,” he added later. But: “There are still a lot of innocent people in prison. And they don’t deserve to be there. ”Since their release, McCollum and Brown have tried to rebuild their lives – a process that is proving difficult after 31 years in prison, the paper wrote. Both needed guardians to manage their finances. Brown was in need of care as a result of the detention.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210517-99-629720 / 2

The News & Observer

Washington Post

Leon Brown


Leon Brown during an interview at the Maury Correctional Institution in 2014.

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