After 3 decades, NC men freed from prison

Henry McCollum moments after he is released from a North Carolina prison embracing a relative. Picture provided by Gerda Stein with Center for Death Penalty Litigation.

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.

His half-brother, 46-year-old Leon Brown, also had his conviction in a 1983 rape and murder overturned on Tuesday.

Leon Brown was freed at 1 p.m. Wednesday from Maury Correctional Institutionoutside Greenville.

McCollum was one of the state's longest-serving death row inmates.

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.