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Calls Increase at Center That Aided Inmate's Exoneration

Posted August 30, 2007

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— The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence said it is getting more calls since a man recently had his conviction overturned.

The nonprofit organization assisted in the exoneration of Dwayne Allen Dail, who spent 18 years in prison after he was sentenced on child rape charges. Dail's conviction was reversed Tuesday after newly discovered DNA evidence proved he did not commit the crime.

Officials at the center said one of its members, a recent North Carolina Central law school graduate, made a call to authorities inquiring about evidence, which helped lead to a break in the case.

According to the statistics from the N.C. Center for Actual Innocence, about 200 wrongly imprisoned inmates across the nation have been exonerated by the work of nonprofit agencies. However, it is the first time the Center helped to exonerate someone.

The staff at the center is made up of volunteers, including a Raleigh high school student who spent his first time in a courtroom at Dail's hearing.

Officials said the center receives about 1,200 requests by N.C. inmates each year and is looking at 200 active cases.

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