Innocence and Justice Clinic

Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Mark Rabil

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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Photo of Professor Mark Rabil outside the Worrell Professional Center

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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Photo of Professor Mark Rabil speaking with reporters following a hearing in Iredell County Superior Court for an Innocence and Justice Clinic client

Last-minute discovery prevents Innocence and Justice Clinic client from going free from prison

The following story, “Last minute discovery prevents Iredell man from going free from prison,” by Robert E. Lee of the Statesville Record & Landmark that ran May 20, 2016, involves a client of Wake Forest Law’s Innocence and Justice Clinic.

WGHP’s Bob Buckley and the Statesville Free News also reported this story.

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Group photo of recipients of Innocence and Justice Clinic Community Service Awards at the Winston-Salem Chronicle's 31st Annual Community Service Awards Gala

Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD ’77), Professor Omari Simmons and Innocence and Justice Clinic earn Winston-Salem Chronicle’s Community Service Awards

Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD ’77), Professor Omari Simmons and the Innocence and Justice Clinic, led by Professor Mark Rabil, were honored at the Winston-Salem Chronicle’s 31st Annual Community Service Awards Gala on April 23, 2016.

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Photo of Mark Rabin and Darryl Hunt

Celebration of Darryl Hunt’s life set for Saturday, March 19, at Emmanuel Baptist Church

A funeral for Darryl Hunt, a Winston-Salem man wrongfully convicted of murder in a highly publicized case, will be held Saturday at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Hunt, who was 51, worked closely with the Wake Forest Law Innocence and Justice Clinic. Professor Mark Rabil, director of the  clinic, was an assistant capital defender in Forsyth County whose zealous advocacy led to the release and exoneration of Hunt after 19 years of incarceration.

“Twenty years of wrongful of incarceration and 12 years of being a voice for the voiceless is what killed Darryl Hunt,” Rabil said. “He embodied all that trauma  and took it on himself.” Continue reading »