Posted: August 1st, 2012 | By: Gabrielle Baldini
Innocence & Justice Clinic Director and Wake Forest University School of Law Professor Mark Rabil has just published an article in the Albany Law Review about his three decades of experience working on the Darryl Hunt Case, which ultimately resulted in Hunt’s release and exoneration after 19 years of incarceration.
Rabil had been practicing law for four years when he was court-appointed to assist a senior partner in his law firm in representing Hunt, a 19-year-old black man charged with assaulting, raping, sodomizing and stabbing to death Deborah Sykes, a young, white, newspaper reporter. He would continue to represent Hunt for the next 20 years, through trials, hearings, investigations, appeals, and clemency and pardon proceedings. In the summer of 1993, post-conviction hearings regarding witness intimidation and discovery violations led to DNA tests proving that neither Hunt nor another suspect, Sammy Mitchell, were involved in the rape of Sykes.
Since 2003, Rabil has been an assistant capital defender in North Carolina and represents individuals who are charged with first-degree murder and face the death penalty. Rabil has served the Wake Forest University School of Law as a supervising attorney for the Trial Advocacy Clinic since 1983 and as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy since 2003.
Read Rabil’s article in the Albany Law Review here.