NC brothers pardoned, including one on death row for 3 decades

RALEIGH, NC (AP) – North Carolina’s governor has pardoned a man who spent three decades on death row and his half brother, saying they were wrongfully convicted in the rape and killing of an 11-year-old girl in 1983.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced the pardons Thursday for Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, clearing the way for them to claim up to $750,000 under a state law that allows compensation for people wrongly convicted of felonies.

In September, a judge ordered their release, citing new DNA evidence that indicates another man killed and raped Sabrina Buie.

Defense attorneys say the brothers were scared teenagers who had low IQs when they were questioned by police. They say the brothers were coerced into confessing. McCollum was then 19, and Brown was 15.

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Categories: Associated Press, NC, News

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