Last September, we brought to you the story of Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, both former death row inmates in North Carolina who had been exonerated and released.  (Read the complete story here.)  Through the use of DNA testing, a process invented two years after their conviction, the two men were found innocent of the crime which had put them on death row: the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie.  DNA testing also revealed the likely killer, Roscoe Artis, a man already behind bars for a similar crime.

 

Their release in September of 2014, was a milestone in their lives, and now, they have achieved another: a full pardon.  Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina, after an extensive and comprehensive nine-month review, has pardoned both Henry and Leon.  This pardon now allows each man to apply for compensation by the state for the years they spent false imprisoned.  They are eligible to receive $50,000 for each year they spent in prison, with a maximum amount of $750,000 each.  Although the compensation will need to be approved by a state agency, many consider it a mere formality.  

 

This is good news for the middle-aged men, who have spent their entire adult lives in prison and are now ill-equipped to find employment in a world that has vastly changed from what they remember.  For the past several months, the brothers have been living off the kindness of strangers, who have donated money to them after hearing about their case.

 

Prosecutors are currently considering re-opening the case of the murder of Sabrina, and pressing charges against the man whose DNA was found on evidence at the crime scene.  That man is currently serving a life sentence.

 

Please continue to pray for Henry McCollum and Leon Brown.  Please pray for the family of Sabrina.

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