Who was Leonard Allan Cure? Black Man Who Wrongfully Spent 16 Years in Florida Prison Shot and Killed by Georgia Deputy

Leonard Allan Cure
Leonard Allan Cure Twitter

An exonerated man who spent 16 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of a violent crime in Broward County was shot and killed by a Georgia deputy during a traffic stop Monday morning, authorities said.

Leonard Allan Cure, 53, was the first person to be exonerated by the Conviction Review Unit of the Broward State Attorney's Office.

Cure Fatally Shot for Not Complying with Deputy's Requests

As reported by the Sun Sentinel, At about 7:30 a.m., a Camden County deputy stopped Cure as he was driving on Interstate 95, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. Cure complied with the officer's commands, including getting out of the car, the Georgia state agency noted, until police told him he was under arrest.

"After not complying with the deputy's requests, the deputy tased Cure," the GBI said. Police say Cure then "assaulted" the deputy, who subsequently "used the Taser for a second time and an ASP baton."

"However, Cure still did not comply," the GBI said. "The deputy pulled out his gun and shot Cure."

According to the GBI, paramedics treated Cure, but he later died. Authorities haven't said what prompted police to stop Cure nor why he was being arrested in the first place. The state agency is investigating.

Cure's Wrongful Conviction

Cure was arrested in November 2003 for the robbery of a Walgreens drug store in Dania Beach. As a result, he was convicted of armed robbery with a firearm and aggravated assault with a gun the following year. Cure, who was in his 30s at the time, got sentenced to life imprisonment — spending 16 years incarcerated.

Broward's Conviction Review Unit, founded in 2019 to give additional oversight to cases that warrant a second look, issued a 14-page memorandum in April 2020 recommending the modification of Cure's sentence to allow for his immediate release from prison as they investigated further. After a few weeks, the Circuit Court for the 17th Judicial Circuit modified Cure's sentence to time served. He was released.

In October 2020, the review unit concluded the case against Cure "is so weak that it gives rise to a reasonable doubt as to his culpability — and that he's most likely innocent." And in December of that same year, the court vacated Cure's judgment and sentence.

He was officially exonerated days later. In June, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a claims bill granting Cure $817,000 in compensation for his wrongful conviction.