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Innocence and Justice Clinic co-director files brief supporting inmates with legitimate claims of innocence

Professor Carol Turowski, co-director of the Wake Forest University School of Law Innocence and Justice Clinic, moderated a press conference on Monday where criminal defense attorneys, respected academics, crime victims and several of the wrongly convicted gathered in downtown Raleigh to ask that North Carolina reexamine the way death sentences are handed down.  Continue reading this story.

Assembly open to new law on Hayes

RALEIGH –

With the pending release of Michael Hayes, the man who killed four people and wounded five others in a 1988 shooting spree, a push is building to change a basic principle in North Carolina’s criminal statutes — the verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity.”  Continue reading this story.

WFU forum to examine race relative to sentences

Of the 157 people on death row in North Carolina, 86 — or 55 percent — are black.

And according to several studies, defendants accused of killing whites are more likely to get the death penalty than those accused of killing blacks.  Continue reading this story.

What Keith said then:

SILK PLANT FOREST EVIDENCE: LACK OF TESTING RAISES QUESTIONS

In 2007, Tom Keith, the Forsyth County district attorney at the time, told the Winston-Salem Journal that he had asked Winston-Salem police to take cigarette butts found at the Silk Plant Forest store — the site of a brutal beating in 1995 that has caused years of debate about police investigatory practices — to the state crime lab to be tested for DNA.  Continue reading this story.

Murder trial closes with defense attacking the case

After nearly a week of testimony, the trial of Keith Antoine Carter wrapped up yesterday afternoon, with Carter’s attorney putting up no evidence in his defense.  Continue reading this story.

Silk Plant Forest Disclosure: Clothing, bloody cardboard, cigarettes were not checked for DNA, police chief says

Winston-Salem police acknowledged yesterday that some evidence in the 1995 beating of Jill Marker at the Silk Plant Forest store was never tested, raising questions about whether more DNA evidence might exist.  Continue reading this story.

Victory for justice

Thanks to a group of law students at Wake Forest University, a sentencing error was corrected and Marchello Bitting walked out of jail last week. Such victories underscore the importance of the innocence projects at our state’s law schools, which are playing a crucial role in criminal-justice reform.  Continue reading this story.

Wake law students help jailed man win early release because of error in sentencing

An error at sentencing almost cost Marchello Bitting an extra two years in prison.  Continue reading this story.

Innocence and Justice Clinic celebrates first victory

Wake Forest University School of Law’s Innocence and Justice Clinic is celebrating today’s release of Marchello Bitting after he served nine years in prison.  Continue reading this story.