Detroit Brothers Exonerated in 1987 Drug Murder


Newman said that it is "highly unlikely" that the Highers brothers will be able to file a civil case now that their criminal charges have been dismissed, as there is not enough hard evidence that police hid information in the 1987 investigation and subsequent trial. But she has her doubts about the investigation.

"We do believe that the cops hid evidence, but we can't prove it," she said. "We do have one of the witnesses we spoke to, a critical alibi, who says he called the police and said he was with them that night. That never came out at the first trial."

Newman says there is hope though, with the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act currently moving through the Michigan Senate. Michigan is one of 21 states that do not compensate the wrongfully convicted.

Thomas said that he's not dwelling on compensation for losing a large piece of his life, and is trying to put the experience behind him.

"I think we're owed something … a mistake happened," he said. "But how do you repay that? That's a long time gone that's never coming back, the best years of our lives. I don't think any money could do that."

The brothers have been out of jail since their convictions were thrown out in 2012. Now, Ray is working for a heating and cooling company and Tommy is an on-site maintenance man at an apartment complex. While Tommy has gotten his own apartment, Ray was living with his Aunt and Uncle, waiting to see what would happen to him.

"Now that the case is over, he will be getting a place of his own," Newman said. "There was trepidation, to move forward, but now he can."

ABC News Alon Harish contributed to this report.

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