A federal civil rights jury in North Carolina has awarded $75 million to two Black, mentally handicapped half brothers who spent years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.
According to The News & Observer, an eight-person judge determined on Friday that Henry McCollum and Leon Brown should collect $31 million each in punitive damages, with $1 million for each year spent in prison. In addition, the jury awarded them $13 million in punitive damages.
Since 2015, McCollum and Brown have been pursuing a civil case against law enforcement personnel, claiming that their civil rights were being violated during the questioning that led to their prosecutions.
After forensic evidence that pointed to a convicted killer exonerated the two, they were freed from prison in 2014. They were both teenagers at the time of the murder, which took place in Red Springs, Robeson County.