Wrongful Conviction Case Study

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Wrongful Conviction On the morning of August 10, 1984, Deborah Sykes was brutally stabbed, sexually assaulted, and eventually killed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The man convicted for her murder was Darryl Hunt, a 19 year old boy that would go on to spend 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Hunt was convicted based on eye-witness testimony and informants, but was later exonerated based on DNA evidence that matched a man that was caught just a few months after the murder took place. This case is an exemplar of the strength of DNA evidence and the fragility of eyewitness testimony. When 911 was called on the morning of the murder, the caller identified himself as Sammy Mitchell. This man was friends with Hunt during this time; when questioned the next day, Sammy informed the police that he had not made the call and the actual caller eventually came forward with his name: Johnny Gray. Subsequently, and to the distaste of eyewitness supporters, …show more content…
After analysis of DNA evidence, the state of North Carolina concluded that the evidence did not match Hunt’s DNA. In a later hearing based on the evidence, North Carolina insisted that there could have been more than one perpetrator and that Hunt still murdered Deborah Sykes… Hunt’s further appeals were denied (NCCADP). Following an eight-part series about Hunt’s case that was published in the Winston-Salem Journal in December 2003, the State Bureau of Investigation ran the DNA evidence against state and federal databases filled with convicted felons. The real criminal was identified as Willard E. Brown and he later pleaded guilty to the murder and apologized to Darryl Hunt and his family for what they went through. Darryl Hunt was exonerated on February 6, 2004 and he later won a lawsuit against Winston-Salem in 2007 and was awarded over a million dollars (The Innocence

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