Commissioning Innocence and Restoring Confidence: The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission and the Missing Deliberative Citizen
22 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2012 Last revised: 28 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2012
Since 1989, the United States has witnessed 289 DNA exonerations, with exonerees serving an average of thirteen years in prison.2 Although DNA and its unmatched power for conclusive results is what brought popular attention to wrongful convictions, the scope of the problem is vastly larger than the number of known DNA exonerations.3 The actual number of convicted individuals who are factually innocent is unknown. The state of North Carolina has recently responded to this national crisis via a newly created state agency. This essay applauds North Carolina’s response, but urges that ordinary citizens, qua jurors, be active participants in its important work.
Keywords: wrongful convictions, innocence, DNA, innocence commissions, criminal law
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