SBI agrees to pay $4.6M to exonerated Durham man
Posted August 12, 2013
Updated August 13, 2013
Durham, N.C. — An exonerated Durham man said Monday that the State Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay him $4.6 million after he was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 17 years behind bars.
Greg Taylor sued the agency after an independent review found questionable practices at its state crime lab. Taylor's conviction was bolstered in part by blood evidence analysis from the lab that has since been discredited.
Taylor said the settlement was reached through mediation and that it officially ends his legal battles with the state.
"I am just glad it's over," he said. "If I never see another courtroom, I will be happy."
Since his exoneration in 2010, Taylor is doing things he never thought possible. He celebrated his mother's birthday this past weekend and has plans to visit friends on the West Coast soon, but there are also daily reminders of what he went through.
"Not a day goes by when I don't think about prison," he said.
He had hoped to have a job by now, possibly in telecommunications – the industry he worked in before his incarceration. State to pay Greg Taylor $4.6M for wrongful imprisonment
"When I got out of prison, I had never spoken on a cellphone, so a lot of that has passed me by," Taylor said. "Mainly I am just happy to be around my family and friends and enjoy a free life."
When Gov. Bev Perdue pardoned Taylor in May 2010, he received $750,000 in compensation to be paid to him at $50,000 a year.
The state also settled a lawsuit filed by Floyd Brown, of Anson County, who was locked up at Dorothea Dix hospital for 14 years awaiting trial on a murder charge. Brown will receive $7.85 million.