Mark Rabil

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.

Continue reading »

Innocence and Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil quoted in Associated Press story regarding N.C. Innocence Commission

RALEIGH (AP) — Fifteen hours after Troy Davis was executed, two men walked out of a North Carolina prison after being exonerated of a murder they had pleaded guilty to committing more than 10 years ago.N.C. Continue reading »

Innocence and Justice Clinic director, students react to Troy Davis execution

Twenty years ago, in 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in Savannah, Ga. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, the Georgia board of pardons denied a bid to delay his execution, and state officials scheduled his death for the following day at 7 p.m. Continue reading »

Wake Forest law students, faculty and alumni travel to Atlanta to protest execution

A group of Wake Forest University law students, professors and alumni will join a march on Friday, Sept. 16, in downtown Atlanta to protest the execution of Troy Davis. Continue reading »

Innocence and Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil calls for restoring fairness to SBI lab

A judge should not have to order a scientist to prepare an accurate report for use in a murder case. That should just come naturally to the scientist. Unfortunately, our North Carolina SBI crime lab does not believe in this basic principle. Our SBI lab believes that prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges should comb through volumes of policies and procedures in order to predict what an SBI lab analyst will say in court. Continue reading »