North Carolina's Bureau of Investigation and its insurers will pay $12.475 million to two innocent men who spent a total of 31 years behind bars, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. The state will to pay $7.85 million to settle a lawsuit by Floyd Brown, a mentally disabled man locked up for 14 years in a psychiatric hospital based on what his lawyers said was a false confession created out of whole cloth by an agent.
The state will pay $4.625 million to Greg Taylor, who was convicted in 1993 for a woman’s murder. Taylor spent 17 years behind bars before a three-judge panel declared him innocent in 2010, the nation’s first such exoneration by an independent innocence commission. Attorney General Roy Cooper called the settlements an opportunity to move on, but did not admit any wrongdoing. He said the agencies involved “now have better interrogation methods and lab reporting practices than were used in the 1990s when the incidents at issue in these lawsuits occurred.”