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

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - 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 expected to be freed later 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.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: One of N.C.'s longest-serving death row inmates freed

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