Entries tagged with “Henry McCollum

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Aug 06, 2019

Appeals Court Clears Path for Death-Row Exonerees’ Lawsuit Against North Carolina Police Officers to Go to Trial

A fed­er­al appeals court has cleared the way for a civ­il law­suit by two North Carolina death-row exonerees to advance to tri­al, reject­ing a claim that police offi­cers who alleged­ly vio­lat­ed their con­sti­tu­tion­al rights were immune from lia­bil­i­ty. On July 31, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a tri­al court rul­ing allow­ing Henry McCollum (pic­tured, left) and Leon Brown (pic­tured, right) to sue North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agents Leroy Allen and Kenneth Snead and Robeson County detec­tives Joel Garth Locklear and Kenneth…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Oct 25, 2017

Federal Court Rules to Protect the Interest of Incompetent North Carolina Death-Row Exoneree

A fed­er­al judge has void­ed a con­tract that had pro­vid­ed Orlando-based attor­ney Patrick Megaro hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars of com­pen­sa­tion at the expense of Henry McCollum (pic­tured left, with his broth­er Leon Brown), an intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled for­mer death-row pris­on­er who was exon­er­at­ed in 2014 after DNA test­ing by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission showed that he had not com­mit­ted the bru­tal rape and mur­der of a young girl for which he had been wrong­ly con­vict­ed and con­demned. McCollum and Brown — who both have IQs mea­sured in the 50s and…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Sep 17, 2018

Jurors in Henry McCollum Case Reflect on How They Sentenced an Innocent Man to Death

Four years after intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled broth­ers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were exon­er­at­ed of the 1983 rape and mur­der of an 11-year-old girl in North Carolina, jurors in McCollum’s case met with mem­bers of his defense team and reflect­ed on how they sen­tenced an inno­cent man to death. In a September 6 op-ed in the Raleigh News & Observer, Kristin Collins — Associate Director of Public Information for North Carolina’s Center for Death Penalty Litigation and a for­mer News & Observer reporter — writes that the jurors’ respons­es var­ied from relief, to shame, to…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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Representation

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Mar 29, 2021

North Carolina Bar Suspends License of Lawyer Who Defrauded Death-Row Exonerees

The North Carolina state bar has sus­pend­ed the law license of a lawyer whose preda­to­ry rep­re­sen­ta­tion of two intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled death-row exonerees defraud­ed them of hun­dreds of thou­sands of dollars.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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New Voices

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Jun 05, 2015

North Carolina Governor Formally Pardons Two Death Row Exonerees

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory grant­ed par­dons to Leon Brown (l.) and Henry McCollum (cen­ter, r.), allow­ing the two men to receive com­pen­sa­tion for their wrong­ful con­vic­tions. Brown and McCollum are half-broth­ers who were con­vict­ed of the 1983 mur­der of an 11-year-old girl and sen­tenced to death. McCollum spent 30 years on death row before being exon­er­at­ed by DNA evi­dence in 2014. Brown was released after 30 years in jail, eight of them on death row. At the time of their arrests, Brown was 15 and McCollum 19. Both gave…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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May 17, 2021

North Carolina Jury Awards Death-Row Exonerees Henry McCollum and Leon Brown $75M for Their Wrongful Capital Convictions

In a case the late Justice Antonin Scalia tout­ed as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, a North Carolina fed­er­al jury has award­ed two intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled death-row exonerees $75 mil­lion for the police mis­con­duct that sent them to death row. On May 14, 2021, half-broth­ers Henry McCollum (pic­tured, left) and Leon Brown (pic­tured, right) were each award­ed $31 mil­lion, $1 mil­lion for each year they spent in prison, plus an addi­tion­al $13 mil­lion in puni­tive damages.