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Exonerated Man Who Was Wrongfully Jailed For Years Shot Dead By Deputy After Traffic Violation

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Leonard Allen Cure
Leonard Allen Cure. (Photo: The Innocent Project)

In a bizarre and tragic turn of events, Leonard Allen Cure, a man who spent over 16 years in a Florida prison for a crime he didn’t commit, was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop on Monday, according to local authorities.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now scrutinizing the incident, which unfolded on Interstate 95 near the Georgia-Florida line. Cure, at 53 years old, became the subject of a traffic stop, only to end up in a confrontation with law enforcement that proved deadly.

Seth Miller, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida, confirmed Cure’s untimely demise, expressing his devastation at the news.

“I can’t imagine as a parent what that feels like,” he remarked highlighting the tragic irony of a man, exonerated after enduring a wrongful conviction, meeting such a violent end after regaining his freedom.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the incident occurred during a traffic stop near the Georgia-Florida line on Interstate 95. After initially cooperating, Cure reportedly turned violent when informed of his arrest. The deputy attempted to use a stun gun and a baton to subdue him, resorting to using his gun when Cure continued to resist.

The bureau did not disclose the reason behind the deputy’s decision to pull over Cure’s vehicle. In accordance with standard procedure, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will submit its findings to the district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, which includes Camden County.

Leonard Allen Cure had a prior conviction in 2003 for the armed robbery of a drug store in Dania Beach, Florida. He received a life sentence due to previous convictions for robbery and other offenses. However, issues with the case, including disregarded alibis and a lack of physical evidence or credible witnesses, led to his release in April 2020. In December of that year, a judge vacated his conviction and sentence, as reported by CBS News.

“I’m looking forward to putting this situation behind me and moving on with my life,” Cure told the South Florida Sun Sentinel after his release.

In June, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a claims bill awarding Cure $817,000 in compensation and educational benefits for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Cure, residing in a suburb of Atlanta, received the compensation in August. Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor remembered Cure as a smart, funny, and kind person, expressing that Cure, after his release, actively contributed to justice initiatives and encouraged the legal team involved in his case.

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