SBI settles in cases of 2 men wrongly imprisoned

Greg Taylor

August 13, 2013 4:53:35 AM PDT
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has reached settlements in cases brought by Floyd Brown and Greg Taylor, the N.C. Department of Justice said Monday.

Taylor spent 17 years in prison for the murder of Jacquetta Thomas, but a three-judge panel found him innocent and released him from jail in 2010.

Taylor, who was convicted in 1993, had exhausted his appeals, but the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission reviewed the evidence against him and recommended the case to the three-judge panel for further review. During several days of testimony, a parade of witnesses poked holes in the original evidence against Taylor.

Taylor will receive $100,000 from the State of North Carolina, $4.5 million from National Casualty Company, and $25,000 from the General Star Management Company.

The state also agreed to pay out almost $7.85 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Brown, who was a mentally challenged man locked up for 14 years in a psychiatric hospital. The lawsuit contended that an SBI agent created a false confession.

The state will pay $500,000 in Brown's settlement. The rest will come from insurance companies.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper released a statement Monday after the settlements were announced.

"The SBI and other law enforcement agencies now have better interrogation methods and lab reporting practices than were used in the 1990s when the incidents at issue in these lawsuits occurred,"Cooper said. "It was in the best interest of the state to settle these cases."

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