His lawyer said Monday that two African-American stepbrothers spent 31 years in prison in the southern US state of North Carolina for a crime, awarded $ 84 million.
Des Hogan told AFP, “This is the largest jury verdict ever in a wrongful conviction case in the history of the United States.”
Henry Lee McCallum and his half-brother Leon Brown, both intellectually disabled, were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1983.
He was 19 and 15 years old at the time of his arrest and it was claimed that he was forced to sign the confession.
His conviction was overturned in 2014 after DNA evidence was discovered, in which another man was placed at the location where the girl’s body was found.
McCallum and Brown pursued a federal civil rights case and a jury on Friday awarded them a total of $ 84 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages and interest.
“The jury sent a message that the old times of neglecting the rights of the poor, people of color, marginalized people in rural areas, are gone,” Hogan said.
“They are thrilled that they won, they are happy that the jury said the sheriff was wrong,” Hogan said. “He was perfect.”
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