For 14 years Floyd Brown, a mentally disabled man, was kept locked up in a psychiatric hospital after being convicted of a murder he did not commit. The "evidence" in the original case, which primarily consisted of a six-page alleged confession dictated to a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) Agent had never been corroborated. No additional witnesses were interviewed and other undisputable suspects were ignored. The case against Brown was never able to go to trial as Brown reported only has an IQ of 54 and lacks the mental competency necessary to stand trial.
In 2007, based on the lack of evidence and the fact that hospital doctors and numerous experts testified to the fact that Mr. Brown's mental capacity was similar to that of a young child, therefore he would not have been able to account for his actions in such detail or clarity, a judge freed Brown. A civil suit against the SBI and its agents was then filed on Brown's behalf and, after years of litigation, a settlement for $7.85 was finally reached. A separate settlement was also reached with the Anson County Sheriff's Department, whose deputies had allegedly helped investigate the original charges against Brown. The exact amount of the settlement is unknown as the judge presiding over the case has sealed all settlement records.
The second innocent man locked up for a violent crime he did not commit was Greg Taylor. Taylor was convicted back in 1993 for the brutal murder of alleged prostitute. Taylor was falsely imprisoned for more than 17 years before he was finally declared innocent by a three-judge panel. Prior to the panel reviewing his case, Taylor thought he had exhausted all his available appeal options. His exoneration was the first of its kind performed by this type of U.S. independent innocence commission. The state agreed to a settlement with Taylor in the amount of $4.625 million. While the state did not admit to any wrongdoing in either case, the Attorney General stated the settlements were a way to allow the SBI to move forward and allow the innocent men the means to start rebuilding their lives.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted and you are searching for post-conviction relief, it is strongly advised that you contact Taylor & Waldrop Attorneys immediately. The legal professionals at the firm have more than 40 years combined experience representing clients in all different types of post-conviction criminal cases. Whether you need help filing motions for a new trial, filing motions to correct sentencing errors, obtaining credit for time served, petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus so that a court can determine if you were in fact unlawfully imprisoned, getting your criminal record expunged or any other post-conviction relief action, the firm stands ready to help. To discuss your case and review the options available to you, contact a St. Augustine criminal defense attorney at the firm today.