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After Three Decades, North Carolina Brothers Freed From Prison

The notorious case began with what defense attorneys said were coerced confessions from two scared teenagers with low IQs.

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. Brown was freed just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

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.

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Henry McCollum sits quietly as thunderous applause rings out around him in a Robeson County courtroom, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 in Lumberton, N.C.Chuck Liddy / AP


— The Associated Press