Mary Kelly Tate


Since 1989, the United States has witnessed 289 DNA exonerations, with exonerees serving an average of thirteen years in prison. Although DNA an its unmatched power for the 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. 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.

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