Baltimore brothers wrongfully jailed for 24 years get $3.8m
Two Baltimore brothers who have been in prison for 24 years for a murder they had not committed have each received US $ 1.9 million (£ 1.5 million) in compensation from the state.
Eric Simmons and Kenneth "JR" McPherson were released in May 2019 after prosecutors re-examined their cases and found investigators' mistakes.
It is taking place amid a national debate in the United States over the reform of the police and criminal justice system.
Both men, who are black, had alibis for the 1994 murder.
They were in their early 20s when they were arrested for murdering a 21-year-old man in East Baltimore, Maryland.
The Innocence Project, which was working to uncover new evidence of the case, said the police had pressured a 13-year-old suspect to identify Mr. Simmons and Mr. McPherson and threatened the boy with murder charges if he refused.
Another witness, who in another case was a paid police informant, claimed to have seen the murder from her third-floor apartment, 45 meters away.
The Baltimore prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said when she was released last year that Mr. McPherson was at a nearby party in the shootout and that Mr. Simmons was in bed at home.
How did the brothers react?
Mr. Simmons, 49, said that although he valued the money from the Maryland Board of Public Works, no amount could make up for lost time.
"My mother died in '09 and I can't get it back," he told the Washington Post. "Money can't fix the time I jumped on and [guards] would hit me and put me in the hole. Money can't fix it.
"I wake up every day and ask if it's real," he said, remembering times when he woke up in prison and thought he was home.
A failed appeal in 2010 "almost took my life," he said.
"If it were up to me, I wouldn't have woken up afterwards. It was only God who breathed my body."
According to the Innocence Project, there are 30 exonerees in the state. Mr. Simmons and Mr. McPherson are the ninth and tenth people to receive compensation for their unlawful conviction.
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