Innocent Mentally Handicapped Man Released From Prison After 31 Years

Yesterday morning Henry Lee McCollum was released from prison in Raleigh, North Carolina after spending 31 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

Henry McCollum Released From Prison

McCollum hugging his step mother, Priscilla McCollum, upon his release from Central Prison in Raleigh, N.C.
Source: New York Times

In 1983 Mr. McCollum and his half-brother, Leon Brown, were coerced by police into confessing to the rape and murder of an 11-year old girl. They quickly recanted, but the conviction stuck. It took 31 years for DNA evidence to exonerate the mentally disabled brothers. In the United States, an estimated 5% of all black adult males are currently incarcerated, while less than 1% of white adult males are locked up.

Had the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, a nonprofit legal group in North Carolina, failed to take his case, Mr. McCollum would have been executed. Many argue that executing a person with a mental disability violates the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution which states that a court cannot inflict “cruel and unusual punishment.” Mentally handicapped people in the United States are regularly subjected to the death penalty, often for crimes they’re not guilty of.

Henry McCollum Released From Prison Capital Punishment

According to Amnesty International 140 countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty.
Source: Wikipedia

The Creepiest Places on Earth

Dolls

Stuffed animals strewn about Jazzland Source: Free York

Certain places on Earth are best left alone. Whether they have been made by nature or by man, these locales can scare the hell out of you. This, bizarrely, is what makes them so appealing to certain people in the first place. We enjoy that adrenaline rush that comes out of primal fear, and these are some of the best locations in the world to experience it.

Creepiest Places: The LaLaurie Mansion

Creepiest Places Lalaurie Outside

Looks pretty harmless from the outside
Source: Wikimedia

Our obsession with serial killers is pretty evident. They are the worst that mankind has to offer so, naturally, they fascinate us. However, very rarely do they leave behind such a creepy legacy as the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans. For multiple decades in the 19th century, this was where wealthy Louisiana socialite Delphine LaLaurie engaged in the brutal torture and murder of her slaves.

Creepiest Places Lalaurie Night

Ok, it gets a little scary at night
Source: The Magazine

We’ll probably never know exactly how many people met a gruesome end in that house, but some claim it was in the hundreds. These kinds of homes often get demolished, but not so for this home. Not only is the LaLaurie Mansion still standing, it’s become a prominent New Orleans landmark. At one point, the home was even purchased by actor Nicolas Cage.

Creepiest Places Lalaurie Tour

Unsurprisingly, people say the mansion is haunted and offer ghost tours
Source: Blogspot

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Why The United States Still Needs Feminism In One Map

Paid Maternity Leave By Country

What’s that large, developed mass over there, glaring in red? That would be none other than the United States, aligning itself with Suriname, Palau, Papua New Guinea and a handful of other countries that do not offer paid maternity leave. Given ever-tightening abortion laws and increasingly controversial contraception mandates and challenges, it seems that motherhood is something greatly encouraged to women on behalf of many US congressional and business leaders. So much so that the US offers zero days of paid maternity leave for recent mothers. Wait, what?

How Income Can Affect Your SAT Score–And Future

Average SAT Scores By Family Income Graph

Unsurprisingly, there is a positive correlation between a family’s income and how well their child does on the SAT. While SAT and related test scores aren’t the sole determinants of an applicant’s admission to a university, the fact that one can predict with a fair degree of accuracy how well (or poorly) a student will do on a standardized test if provided with his or her family’s tax returns is fairly disconcerting in a country that considers itself to be an exemplar when it comes to equal opportunity.

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