Innocence and Justice Clinic

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Innocence and Justice Clinic students’ work featured on ‘Undisclosed’ podcast

The most recent episodes of the popular podcast,  ”Undisclosed,” focus on a case that involves the investigative work of Wake Forest University undergraduate and graduate students. On April 23, 2018, the podcast team began airing episodes about Chinquapin, North Carolina, resident Pam Lanier, who was convicted in 1999 of murdering her husband, Dorian, in largely due to an odd rule of evidence known as the Doctrine of Chances.

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Mark Rabil

Professor Mark Rabil featured in new RiverRun movie ‘In Pursuit of Justice’

Professor Mark Rabil,  director of Wake Forest School of Law’s Innocence and Justice Clinic, is featured in a new movie, “In Pursuit of Justice,” which is playing as part of Winston-Salem’s anual RiverRun Film Festival and will be shown at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 20, at SECCA and 4 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at Hanesbrand Theatre. In the film, Gregg Jamback tells the story of Greg Taylor, a Raleigh man who wrongfully spent 17 years in prison for murder before he was exonerated in 2010.

“I’d say this is an eye-opening film for people in this state, to find out how the criminal justice system can go wrong, and then, with the right attorneys and the new procedures of the Innocence Commission, can go right,” Rabil says. “The Innocence Commission, and the reforms discussed in this film, are part of the legacy of Darryl Hunt, and for him, for us, I’m proud.  I will definitely use this film in teaching my Innocence and Justice class in the years to come.”

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Innocence and Justice Clinic, Criminal Justice Program co-sponsor ‘Re-Thinking Drug Policy’ symposium on Monday, Oct. 2

The Innocence and Justice Clinic and the Criminal Justice Program are co-sponsoring a symposium, “Re-Thinking Drug Policy: Seeking Solutions Based on Law, Science and Public Health,” with the Rethinking Community Program, the Office of the Provost, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Center for Community Engagement Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Center for Research on Substance Use and Addiction and Clinical and Translational Science Institute from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education, 475 Vine St., 5th Floor Tiered Classroom, in downtown Winston-Salem.

The event, which is also sponsored by Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform (CCJR), is free and open to the public. It will be held in conjunction with “International Wrongful Conviction Day.”

Three hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits (one hour of substance abuse, two hours of general) have been approved by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) for a fee. 

 

After four decades, policy analysts across the political spectrum have come to recognize that the War on Drugs is both ineffective and counterproductive. The “tough on crime” policies have led to massive increases in incarceration and have served to nurture, rather than dismantle, drug cartels. The use of mandatory minimums aimed at targeting traffickers, has instead led to essentially criminalizing addiction, throwing low level addicts into prison and only exacerbating mental health conditions. The utter failure of the War on Drugs is showcased in the current public health epidemic presented by the opioid crisis. Across the country, opioid abuse and overdose related deaths are rapidly rising to unprecedented rates. This symposium will provide context for the history of what led to this current state, consider solutions that incorporate not only the medical and scientific concerns related to addiction and over prescription, but also the criminal justice responses that have bloated our prisons and devastated families and communities across the country.

The event will be streamed live online, as well as available in two video sessions for viewing later.  Using Google Chrome is recommended.

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Judge orders mental competency evaluation in Innocence and Justice Clinic capital murder case

A Forsyth County judge has rejected a guilty plea in a capital case Innocence and Justice Clinic students have been working on for the past two years due to concerns about mental competency of a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in 2014.

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Professors Mark Rabil, Kimberly Stevens (JD ’92) featured in USA Today

Professor Mark Rabil, director of the Innocence and Justice Program, is featured in the following story, “For Asheville attorney, a life’s work fighting the death penalty,” about Adjunct Professor Kimberly C. Stevens (JD ’92), written by Tonya Maxwell of the Asheville Citizen-Times, which was also published in USA Today on Jan. 2, 2017. An excerpt of the original story follows:

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Professor Mark Rabil tells Winston-Salem Journal his client is innocent, date petition filed is irrelevant

Professor Mark Rabil, director of the Innocence and Justice Clinic, was featured in the Winston-Salem Journal article, “Winston-Salem man claiming wrongful conviction in murders is too late in filing federal appeal, Attorney General’s Office says,” published by Michael Hewlett on  Nov. 15, 2016.  The article discusses the latest in the case of Professor Rabil’s client, John Robert Hayes.  A portion of the article follows.

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Professor Mark Rabil and Innocence and Justice Clinic featured in Record & Landmark article chronicling Norman Satterfield’s wrongful conviction

The Innocence and Justice Clinic and Director Professor Mark Rabil was featured in the Statesville Record & Landmark article, “‘MY OWN HELL’: 37 years after rape, victim’s life remains forever changed and a prisoner maintains his innocence,” published by Robert E. Lee on Sept. 4, 2016.

The articles chronicles the wrongful conviction of Norman Satterfield of Statesville, N.C.  Statterfield was sentenced to life in prison in 1979 for rape and burglary charges.  In 2012, the Innocence and Justice Clinic took his case.  Satterfield was expected to be released this past spring.  Instead, his sentence was reduced due to an overlooked common robbery conviction.

The first section of the article follows.

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Despite Professor Mark Rabil’s petition, prosecutors deny allegations of suppressing evidence in Winston-Salem murder case

Winston-Salem Journal reporter Michael Hewlett writes that Forsyth County prosecutors didn’t withhold evidence in the John Robert Hayes despite a petition Professor Mark Rabil, director of the Innocence and Justice Clinic, filed in July with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The original story, “Prosecutors deny allegations of suppressing evidence in Winston-Salem murder case,” follows.

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Professor Mark Rabil featured in new MTV docu-series, ‘Unlocking the Truth,’ set to premiere Wednesday, Aug. 17

Professor Mark Rabil, director of the law school’s Innocence and Justice Clinic, is featured in MTV’s new documentary series, “Unlocking the Truth,” which premieres at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.  The series, hosted by wrongful conviction exoneree Ryan Ferguson and the Exoneration Project’s Eva Nagao, examines three controversial murder or assault cases.  The trailer is available here. Professor Rabil is associated with Winston-Salem native Kalvin Michael Smith’s case, which will be introduced at the end of Episode 1 and investigated fully in Episode 2. His interview was filmed in the Innocence and Justice Clinic offices in the Worrell Professional Center on Wake Forest University’s Reynolda Campus.

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Winston-Salem Journal reports Professor Mark Rabil has filed appeal to overturn 1994 conviction of John Robert Hayes

Professor Mark Rabil, director of Wake Forest Law’s Innocence and Justice Clinic, was quoted in the Winston-Salem Journal article, “Winston-Salem man appeals conviction in ’93 fatal shootings,” published by Michael Hewlett on July 16, 2016.

The article follows recent developments in the 1994 conviction of John Robert Hayes, Professor Rabil’s client.  Last Tuesday, Professor Rabil filed a petition with the N.C. Court of Appeals to overturn Hayes’ conviction and grant Hayes a new trial.  The original article follows.

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