Governor pardons 2 brothers in 1983 rape, killing; move clears way for them to receive $750K

Two brothers wrongfully imprisoned for three decades in the killing of an 11-year-old girl say pardons will help them move on with clear consciences and clear names.

And North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's action on Thursday qualifies them for hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Henry McCollum and Leon Brown adjust to the outside world.

They can claim $750,000 under a state law that allows compensation for people wrongly convicted of felonies.

In September, a judge ordered their release, citing new DNA evidence that indicates another man killed and raped Sabrina Buie.

Defense attorneys say the brothers were scared teenagers who had low IQs when they were questioned by police. They say the brothers were coerced into confessing. McCollum was then 19, and Brown was 15.