An escape route from prison for the innocent

By: - August 30, 2005 4:45 am

Raleigh News & Observer


RALEIGH — Questions about the justice of criminal convictions in North Carolina are being raised more frequently lately. Is that because the system has new flaws, or is it because the system is just now recognizing old flaws?

Certainly the advent of DNA testing and advances in science have played a part. DNA evidence left at crime scenes, whether on the victim or on some item the perpetrator touches or leaves behind, can confirm the identification of a perpetrator or call into question the reliability of a conviction. Once DNA confirms that someone convicted of a crime is not the perpetrator — as with Darryl Hunt, Lesley Jean and Ronald Cotton — review of the circumstances of the wrongful conviction can highlight potential flaws in our justice system. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066