From an editorial Thursday in the Fayetteville Observer:
Brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown had quite a payday Wednesday, but the way they had to earn it was shameful, another chapter in the American story of miscarried justice.
McCollum and Brown were wrongfully convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in Robeson County in 1983. Both spent more than three decades in prison before DNA evidence led to their exoneration and pardon.
Wednesday, the N.C. Industrial Commission awarded them $750,000 each in compensation for their wrongful imprisonment.
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It’s some solace, but hardly fair compensation for lives devastated by coerced confessions from two scared teenagers. Both brothers have had a hard time adjusting to life outside prison.
We’d like to say it’s a sorry chapter closed, but that may never happen, given what all those years of unjust imprisonment have done to both men.
In this one, it’s government that got off easy.