After they were wrongfully convicted for the murder of an 11-year-old girl and subsequently forced to spend over 30 years in prison, 51-year-old Henry McCollum and his 47-year-old half-brother Leon Brown have been freed and compensated for the life-changing mistake.
The North Carolina brothers were given $750,000 each for their time spent behind bars, but if you ask us, that amount just does not make up for over 30 years of time stolen.
Henry McCollum, 51, and his half-brother Leon Brown, 47, were released in September 2014 after a judge overturned their convictions, citing new DNA evidence that pointed to another man in the 1983 rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie, the Associated Press reports.
After the brothers received pardons from the North Carolina governor in June, they were qualified to receive $50,000 for each year they spent in prison, with a limit of $750,000. Since the brothers spent more than 30 years in prison, they were awarded the full $750,000.
According to the site, only McCollum showed up to accept the monetary compensation. Brown suffers from mental health issues after being treated “worse than a dog” while in prison, and is currently in the hospital.
However, only McCollum turned up to accept the money as his younger brother suffers from various mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, since his imprisonment. He is currently in the hospital receiving treatment, Brown’s sister, Geraldine, told The News & Observer.
Geraldine Brown told the paper it was the ninth time her brother had been hospitalized since his release last year. “Leon was treated like a dog,” she said. “Pick him up when you want to, do whatever you want to him, drop him and just forget about him, like a dog. Actually worse than a dog.”
Patrick Megaro, a lawyer for the brothers, has filed a lawsuit against the people involved in their arrest and prosecution. “Leon was destroyed,” the suit reads. “He will never be right again.”
A cigarette butt that was recovered from the crime scene provided DNA evidence needed to exonerate McCollum, who was on death row, and Brown, who was sentenced to life.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
13 Celebrity Men Who've Been Accused Of Heinous Crimes But Are Still Idolized
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1. Bill Cosby: Since 2005, over a dozen women have alleged that Bill Cosby drugged and then sexually assaulted them. With the allegations getting media attention again, the first supermodel ever, Janice Dickinson, has also come forward to reveal the "Cosby Show" actor raped her in 1982.
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2. Michael Jackson: Throughout his career, the King of Pop was accused of molesting young boys several times. After he died, it was discovered that Michael spent over $35 million covering up the alleged molestation of 24 boys.
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3. Martin Lawrence: Leading man in one of the best comedy series ever, Martin's co-star Tisha Campbell left the show "Martin" in 1997, citing sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse, and threats from Martin. To make matters worse, Tisha recently revealed she was a victim of rape at just 3-years-old.
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4. Terry Richardson: The man on the other side of the lens has been labeled a sexual predator by more than a few women. Multiple models have claimed Richardson requested sexual favors during shoots, and the heinous accusations stretch all the way back to 2005.
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5. Woody Allen: The famed director reportedly sexually abused his 7-year-old adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. Allen refused to take a polygraph test administered by state police, and the young girl's claims were found to be consistent with the testimony of three adults who were around the same day the abuse happened.
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6. James Brown: James Brown has not only been arrested for armed robbery, in the early 2000s he was sued by a woman who claimed it was Brown's fault she suffered from Graves' disease, as he allegedly raped her at gunpoint in 1988.
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7. Kobe Bryant: The LA Laker was the center of a lot of negative attention in 2003, when a 19-year-old hotel employee accused the basketball player of raping her. Though Kobe admitted to having sex with her - and remember, he was married at the time - he denies it was rape.
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8. Sean Penn: The famed actor is not only known for his ability to meaningfully portray a character, he's also known for tying up ex-wife Madonna and beating her bloody. She escaped when she told her husband of the time she had to use the bathroom.
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9. Marv Albert: In 1997, the beloved Sportscaster plead guilty to sexual assault and battery of a longtime lover, who claimed that he repeatedly bit her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. She claimed she was only able to escape after ripping his toupee off of his head.
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