WRAL.com archive: NC Innocence Inquiry Commission
The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission is a state agency established in August 2006 by the General Assembly to investigate and evaluate post-conviction claims of factual innocence. The commission only examines new evidence that was not considered at trial.
The commission is made up of eight members selected by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The members include a Superior Court judge, a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney, a victim advocate, a member of the public, a sheriff and two discretionary members.
As of April 2012, the Innocence Commission panel has has heard four cases and referred three for judicial review. Three people have been exonerated, and the fourth case is pending.
- Innocence Commission's founder wants changes
- Innocence center turns attention to next case
- Innocence commission is Lake's legacy
- Taylor, now free: 'Truth has prevailed'
- Innocence Commission Asked to Review Fayetteville Case
- State Supreme Court Won't Hear Murder Appeal on Bullet Evidence
- N.C. Innocence Commission Already Has Hefty Caseload
- Easley: Innocence Commission Will Help Wrongly Convicted
- Lawmakers Reach Compromise On Innocence Commission
- Senate Approves Innocence Commission
- North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission
- North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence
- The Innocence Project
Recent Innocence Commission cases
Willie James Grimes
Willie James Grimes was convicted July 12, 1988, of two counts of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree kidnapping in the Oct. 24, 1987, rape of a Hickory woman. In 2011, investigators found that fingerprints on a banana at the crime scene matched another man, Albert Lindsay Taylor. On April 4, 2012, the Innocence Commission referred the case for judicial review. On Oct. 5, 2012, a three-judge panel found Grimes innocent of the crime.
- Innocence panel takes up 1988 Catawba rape conviction
- Apple tossed in garbage may have cleared man (2007 Denver Post article)
- Convicted rapist maintains innocence in 1987 case
- Innocence panel refers 1987 Hickory rape case for judicial review
- Willie Grimes Innocence Commission hearing video
- Man claiming innocence in 1987 rape released on parole
- Judges to hear Hickory man's innocence claims
- Hickory man found innocent after 24 years in prison
Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxson
Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2000 shooting death of Walter Rodney Bowman. Their case was referred for judicial review on April 29, 2011, and they were exonerated Sept. 22, 2011.
- NC innocence panel reviews 2000 Buncombe killing
- Innocence panel refers 2000 murder case for review
- Judges find two men innocent of 2000 murder
Gregory Flynt Taylor
Gregory Flynt Taylor was convicted April 19, 1993, of first-degree murder in the Sept. 26, 1991, beating death of Jacquetta Thomas. On Feb. 17, 2010, a three-judge panel unanimously decided there was clear and convincing evidence that proved Taylor is innocent, making him the first person in North Carolina's history to be freed because of the Innocence Commission's involvement.
- Taylor freed in landmark ruling
- Interactive: Chronology - 6,149 Days
- More stories about Greg Taylor
- Innocence commission hearings and exoneration video
- Related documents and audio
Terry Lee McNeil
Terry Lee McNeil was convicted on June 8, 2001, of second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon. The Innocence Commission, on Jan. 16, 2009, found that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant a judicial review.
Henry Archie Reeves
Henry Reeves was convicted in 2001 of taking indecent liberties with a child. On Dec. 14, 2007, the Innocence Commission referred his case for judicial review, but the panel, on Sept. 3, 2008, ruled that Reeves had not proven his innocence.