Behind the Doc

Taylor's story highlights flaws in justice system

Posted April 18, 2012

Greg Taylor’s case was summed up well by attorney Mike Klinkosum in our documentary “6,149 Days” when he said, “This whole thing was rotten from the beginning." First there was the rush to judgment by police who locked onto Taylor immediately and never looked for other possible suspects. Then there was the trial where the state’s evidence relied on an unreliable jailhouse snitch, an unreliable prostitute who was given a deal to testify and law enforcement officers who gave misleading testimony about blood evidence. Of course the jury that convicted Taylor never heard about negative blood tests or heard from the woman who picked up Taylor and Beck that night after Taylor’s truck got stuck. Those were two key pieces of evidence that could have easily turned the case around and ended it with an acquittal. Greg Taylor 6,149 Days: The true story of Greg Taylor

Taylor’s case reveals many of the flaws in our adversarial criminal justice system where police are under pressure to close cases and prosecutors are under pressure to win cases. Taylor’s case shows the truth can get lost in that battle to win. Many viewers of “6,149 Days” have asked why the police or prosecutor weren’t held accountable for what happened. The answer appears to be because they were playing by the system’s rules. The system is to blame.

Our state has implemented reforms to help improve the system since Taylor’s conviction, including changes in the way line-ups are conducted to increase the reliability of identifications, the recording of interrogations to protect against false confessions and open-file discovery laws to help the defense prepare its case.

There have also been laws passed to enhance collection and preservation of biological evidence. The Forensic Science Act, a direct result of Taylor’s case, requires analyst certification. A Forensic Science Advisory Board and an ombudsman position have been created to require the kind of collaboration that can help prevent human error and bias. Greg Taylor Questions, comments about Taylor case

There are other areas where reforms are still needed, including standards for the reliability of informant testimony, which was clearly an issue in Taylor’s case. It may be time to reconvene the Chief Justice's Criminal Justice Standards Commission to address these and other reforms.

Many viewers have also asked if the state compensated Taylor for his wrongful conviction. State law requires wrongfully convicted people to be compensated $50,000 for each year of their imprisonment for up to 15 years, so Taylor received the maximum $750,000. He would be the first to tell you that it doesn’t come remotely close to compensating him for losing 17 years of freedom.

Greg Taylor Full interview: Greg Taylor talks about life after prison

18 Comments

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  • HomeBrewDude Aug 13, 12:22 p.m.

    It is apparent from the below that many have not watched the documentary or did their own research on this matter. The issue is that we put too much trust in law enforcement and assume they are fair people and are in pursuit of the truth and justice. In reality, just one person in prison right now being falsely convicted is one too many. What needs to happen is those who are responsible for these convictions, the DA, the SBI lab all the way down to the officer need to be held personally accountable. If it can be proven they did not do their job or did it with predisposition or malice, then they need to be personally held accountable - locked up themselves. That would be justice.

  • charlesmozingo Jan 22, 8:14 p.m.

    Noticed the national news on 1-22 did not report that the state of Conn & the FEDS are saying that Adam Lanza did not shoot all those people with the AR-15. That gun was left in his mothers car. Deb Morgan & David Crabtree need to research this B4 their special tomorrow nite. charlesmozingo@gmail.com

  • dollibug Apr 24, 11:36 a.m.

    ++++ Dollibug knows about corruption and coverup in the Wake County courts from personal experience and several high profile cases that reek of wrongful conviction.
    jackcdneh1017

    Yes..you are so right..and I have made it "my mission" to speak out about what is going on..If more people would speak up and voice their concerns about what is going on perhaps we, the people, could make a difference. It is sad to be "involved in a situation" that you have absolutely no control over. I have leaned on GOD and my faith to get through all that I have been *exposed* to..http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-780063
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-780065 for anyone who might be interested in what could be so important..read the links and perhaps you might get a "bit" of what I have been faced with.

    I have learned more about the "judicial systems" and "law enforcement" than I ever cared to know..Innocent people are "indicted, tried and convicted"..it is TRUTH, JUSTICE or the AMERICAN WAY???

  • jackcdneh1017 Apr 24, 9:25 a.m.

    dollibug? Do you ever ever ever have anything good to say about any law enforcement agency? If you know soooooo much about all this corruption then YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!! EXPOSE IT INSTEAD OF RANTING ON ABOUT IT!!!!!!
    COPs eye
    Dollibug knows about corruption and coverup in the Wake County courts from personal experience and several high profile cases that reek of wrongful conviction. She does what she can, "ranting" on about it, hoping folks lsiten. She does more too but those of us "on the outside" have very little actual influence. You are on the inside, maybe it is you who can do something about it. Please tell us as a policewoman with a corrections officer husband that you have not participated in coverups when for example a fellow officer has "gone too far" with a beating. Please admit you are forced to lie to "back up" your fellow officer or risk the wrath of the LE brotherhood. Please tell us that you don't know of officers who have lied on the stand in these cases

  • COPs eye Apr 24, 6:56 a.m.

    Enough already about this guy! Please tell me he ain't writing a book? Man, what people will do to make a dollar. Do like the rest of us and get a job.

    I think this is a real important story. I watched the documentary it was well done. My spouse actually supervised Greg at Nash Correctional. He never got into trouble and was well mannered. He was railroaded no doubt. I hope he will forgive the system for his own peace of mind and live good life from now on.

    dollibug? Do you ever ever ever have anything good to say about any law enforcement agency? If you know soooooo much about all this corruption then YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!! EXPOSE IT INSTEAD OF RANTING ON ABOUT IT!!!!!!

  • dollibug Apr 23, 2:53 p.m.

    ++++Enough already about this guy! Please tell me he ain't writing a book? Man, what people will do to make a dollar. Do like the rest of us and get a job.
    jblake1932


    Actually I think anyone can, if they want to, write a book....and he will probably make a lot of money from it as well...

  • jblake1932 Apr 23, 1:18 p.m.

    Enough already about this guy! Please tell me he ain't writing a book? Man, what people will do to make a dollar. Do like the rest of us and get a job.

  • dollibug Apr 22, 9:58 p.m.

    One has to wonder....exactly who is in charge of the Wake County Courts????????? http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-779368
    Could it be that no attorney, DA or judge knew about this case which was back in 2003....and the DVPO continued to get approved without Findings of fact....it is the blind leading the blind or what?????? Interesting things are popping up which took place in Wake County courts...

  • alwayslovingu30 Apr 20, 11:30 a.m.

    crystalmangum never pulled A day for lying to police an prosecutors.I guess it would have been A racist move so they did not persue it

  • alwayslovingu30 Apr 20, 11:29 a.m.

    Almost been hanged by the crooked sytem 3 times in my life.
    It's supposed to be against the law for you to lie to police but they can lie all they want an get by with it.the holding cells at wake county are dirty rotten nasty places.cells are voer 30 years old an need to be replaced.crooked cops an nasty cells an they try to starve you out.this is true.infect truth

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About this Blog:

Documentary producer and writer Clay Johnson provides some behind-the-scenes insight into the production of WRAL documentaries.