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Geraldine Brown, sister of Leon Brown, celebrates outside a Robeson County courtroom where her brothers were declared innocent of the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl in 1983, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 in Lumberton, N.C. On Tuesday, a judge overturned the convictions of Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, in the 1983 rape and murder of the 11-year-old girl, citing the new evidence that they are innocent. The ruling is the latest twist in a notorious legal case against the men that began with what defense attorneys said were coerced confessions from two scared teenagers with low IQs. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy)
After 3 decades, N.C. man freed from prison, death row
First Published Sep 03 2014 11:00 am • Last Updated Sep 03 2014 11:00 am

Raleigh, N.C. • One of North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmates has been freed from prison, a day after a judge overturned his conviction because of new DNA evidence in the case.

Fifty-year-old Henry McCollum walked out of Central Prison in Raleigh on Wednesday. He hugged his mother and thanked God for his release.

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His half brother, 46-year-old Leon Brown, also had his conviction in a 1983 rape and murder overturned on Tuesday. Brown was expected to be freed later Wednesday.

McCollum spoke briefly to reporters before getting into the passenger seat of his father’s car, where a reporter had to show him how to buckle the seat belt. He had never used a seat belt of that design.




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