2 brothers that were wrongly accused of murder and served a sentence of 30 years were recently let go and both brothers received $750,000 for their troubles. Leon Brown and Henry McCollum were only 15 and 19 years old when they were reportedly forced to give a confession about the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie by the police.
According to Time, they were originally given the death penalty but the state Supreme Court called for new trials for the brothers in 1988. Brown was convicted for the rape and given a life sentence, while his brother was sent to death row. In 2014 they were exonerated due to DNA evidence, which proved it couldn’t have been them. The cigarettes found at the scene didn’t match the DNA of either brother, nor did the fingerprints on a beer can that was located near the body.
The Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, granted both brothers pardons back in June, qualifying them to receive $50,000 from the state for every year they spent in prison, with a $750,000 limit. The brothers are also eligible for educational benefits from the state.
McCollum seems to carry no ill will and plans to assist troubled youth. His sister Geraldine Brown, on the other hand, isn’t so happy even with her brothers being pardoned. She told reporters that her brother suffers from PTSD and diabetes, which are both things he didn’t go in there with.
Life’s crazy right? Hopefully, the brothers can make up for lost time.