Black men in North Carolina legally innocent, but remain behind bars

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Over 60 men are presently behind bars for carrying a gun, but not actually committing a crime. Terrell McCullum is just one of a long list who are technically innocent — and the U.S. Justice Department knows this — yet will not step in to intervene. Many of the men don’t know that they are innocent, but the Justice Department says it is not their job to notify prisoners that may be incarcerated for something that they now concede is not a crime.

“We can’t be outcome driven,” said Anne Tompkins, the U.S. attorney in Charlotte. “We’ve got to make sure we follow the law, and people should want us to do that.”  The USA Today has the story:

Terrell McCullum did not commit a federal crime by carrying a shotgun and a rifle out of his ex-girlfriend’s house.

But he is serving a federal prison sentence for it. And the fact that everyone — including the U.S.Justice Department— agrees that he is legally innocent might not be enough to set him free.

INTERACTIVE: The case of Terrell McCullum

A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.

Click here for the full story.