74
      Tuesday
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      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.