Two African-American half-brothers who spent 31 years in jail within the southern US state of North Carolina for against the law they didn’t commit have been awarded $84 million, their lawyer mentioned Monday.
“That is the biggest jury verdict ever returned in a wrongful conviction case within the historical past of america,” Des Hogan advised AFP.
Henry Lee McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown, each of whom are intellectually disabled, had been convicted of the 1983 rape and homicide of an 11-year-old woman.
They had been respectively 19 and 15 years outdated on the time of their arrest and claimed to have been compelled to signal confessions.
Their convictions had been overturned in 2014 after the invention of DNA proof that positioned one other man on the scene the place the woman’s physique was discovered.
McCollum and Brown pursued a federal civil rights case and a jury on Friday awarded them a complete of $84 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages and curiosity.
“The jury despatched a message that the outdated instances of ignoring the rights of the poor, the folks of colour, the marginalised in rural counties, are gone,” Hogan mentioned.
“They’re thrilled that they received, they’re pleased that the jury mentioned the sheriff was unsuitable,” Hogan mentioned. “They had been vindicated.”
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