Mark Rabil

Georgia execution anniversary sparks concerns over N.C. death penalty

RALEIGH, N.C. – A year ago this month, Georgia death-row inmate Troy Davis was executed for the murder of a police officer. It was a crime he denied up until his death, and his execution sparked protests around the world. Opponents of the death penalty in North Carolina are using the anniversary of Davis’ death as a platform to discuss the issue.

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Innocence & Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil publishes Albany Law Review article on Darryl Hunt case

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.

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Innocence and Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil says new Racial Justice Act will lead to more litigation

A new scaled-back Racial Justice Act will lead to more litigation, not less, supporters of the original law say.

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Retired FBI Agent: ‘Kalvin Michael Smith deserves new trial’

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga surrounding the brutal 1995 beating of Silk Plant Forest store clerk Jill Marker has culminated with a respected retired FBI assistant director calling for a new trial for Kalvin Michael Smith, the man convicted of the crime almost 15 years ago.

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Wake Forest law alumnus and former top FBI official to release 16-month independent review of Silk Plant Forest case on May 29

Former FBI Assistant Director Christopher Swecker (’81) has completed a 16-month independent review of the Silk Plant Forest case, which he will release at a news conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Continue reading »

Professor Mark Rabil addresses impact of Racial Justice Act ruling

A Cumberland County judge’s ruling Friday that racial bias played a role in landing a black man on death row is one of the most important decisions made about race and the death penalty, according to a Winston-Salem lawyer who handles death penalty cases. Continue reading »

Cable TV show exploring the Darryl Hunt case features Innocence and Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil

In 1984, the murder of Deborah Sykes shocked Winston-Salem. She was a 26-year-old copy editor at The Sentinel, then the city’s afternoon newspaper. She was on her way to work on the morning of Aug. 10, 1984, when she was raped and stabbed. Continue reading »

Professor Mark Rabil weighs in on 2009 Racial Justice Act

Defense lawyer Mark Rabil thinks the N.C. Racial Justice Act of 2009 is bringing long-overdue justice to the state’s courts, while prosecutor Jim O’Neill says it is pushing justice further away.

In the more than two years since the act became law, Rabil said he’s seen prosecutors use more care to ensure there is no racism in their selection of jurors. O’Neill says he’s doing nothing different when he prosecutes a case, but now he tells the families of murder victims that the Racial Justice Act will add decades to the years they will wait to see a death sentence carried out. And even then, O’Neill said, the murderer might be able to use statistics to avoid execution. Continue reading »

Photo of Kary Mullis and Darryl Hunt

Nobel winner, DNA exoneree meet

Darryl Hunt had always wanted to meet Nobel Prize-winning scientist Kary Mullis. Continue reading »

Criminal defense lawyers plead their case

Working as a criminal defense attorney is some of the most interesting work you’ll ever do, a panel of lawyers recently told Wake Forest University School of Law students. But it can wreak havoc with your personal life and require you to confront the shades of gray in the human character.

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