News

Exonerated Texas Death Row Inmate Alfred Brown Asks State For Compensation

Attorneys for Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was exonerated of killing a Houston police officer last year, filed a request for compensation with the state of Texas Monday. But it’s not certain his request will succeed.

Alfred Brown spent 12 years and 62 days in prison, nine years of that on death row.

He was convicted of murdering HPD officer Charles Clark, but after new evidence was found, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial.

Last June, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced there was insufficient evidence to try Brown again and he was released.

Now his lawyers have filed a request for wrongful imprisonment compensation with the state comptroller’s office, asking for more than $1.9 million under the Tim Cole Act. That includes a lump sum of $973,589 plus the same amount paid out over the years.

Neal Manne, who represents Brown in the request, says that’s not nearly enough.

“No-one would want to be on Texas’ death row for even a day, much less the more than nine years that Mr. Brown was, for any amount of compensation, much less the small sum available under the Tim Cole Act,” Manne says.

He says Brown wants to keep working his laborer job in Louisiana and invest the money.

Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, thinks Brown will never see it.

“Compensation is supposed to be for someone who is wrongly convicted and is clearly innocent and should never have been in prison,” Hunt says. “This person was convicted by a jury after hearing evidence from witnesses that he in fact was the killer of Charles Clark.”  

He says HPD homicide is still investigating the case and Brown remains the prime suspect.

Melissa Hamilton, a visiting professor at the University of Houston Law Center, agrees with Hunt. She says Brown would have to prove that he’s “factually innocent.”

“In cases of DNA evidence, where the DNA proves that it was not this person, that’s an example of factual innocence,” Hamilton says.

Brown was released based on the jury not being able to consider important evidence — in this case phone records that supported his alibi.

Hamilton says Brown would have to get a judge or the district attorney to attest to his innocence, but that is unlikely to happen.

Manne, Brown’s attorney, says they will consider filing a civil rights suit in case of a rejection.

He says that could result in an even bigger compensation.

Share

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

More Information