published: 12 September 2014
Last week, North Carolina released the 145th and 146th prisoner from death row for wrongful conviction.
Henry McCollum and his half-brother, Leon Brown, were 19 and 15, respectfully, when they were convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl.
Neither man has an IQ over 70 and were recognized as mentally disabled at the time of the trial. Earlier this month, they were released after new DNA evidence uncovered that another known sex-offender was behind the girl’s death.
The two brothers are now experiencing freedom for the first time in 30 years. The shoddy way this case was carried out underscores the need to end the death penalty.
The half-brothers had initially signed a confession that they were guilty but only after hours of coercive police investigation without an attorney. One officer even promised McCollum that he could go home after he signed.