Wrongful Conviction: the Darryl Hunt Case

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Abstract Darryl Hunt is an African American born in 1965 in North Carolina. In 1984, he was convicted wrongfully of rape and murder of Deborah Sykes, a young white woman working as a newspaper editor. This paper researches oh his wrongful conviction in North Carolina. Darryl Hunt served nineteen and a half years before DNA evidence exonerated him. The charges leveled against him were because of inconsistencies in the initial stages of the case. An all-white bench convicted the then nineteen-year-old Hunt, even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime. A hotel employee made false claims that he saw Hunt enter the hotel bathroom, and later emerge with bloodstained towels. Other witnesses also fixed Hunt to the case.…show more content…
That he was exonerated raises questions as to whether there are other countless people serving time for crimes they never committed. There is need to examine the role of DNA in criminal prosecutions since this plays a fundamental part in convicting a suspect. Similarly, there is need to examine whether race plays a role in determining if one is convicted or released. This is because an all-white bench convicted Hunt, who is of African American descent, of a crime he did not commit. Whether racial prejudice plays any role in our criminal and justice system needs critical examine since the law should be fair and equal before all. A non-discriminative judicial system will enhance public trust and eliminate cases of wrongful conviction. Literature Review With the number of DNA exonerations growing in the recent years, wrongful convictions reveal disturbing trends and fissures in the justice system. It shows how broken the system is, and why it needs urgent fixing. According to Huff (1996), over ten thousand people are convicted wrongfully for serious crimes each year. This study established that factors leading to wrongful convictions are false eyewitnesses, a prejudiced jury, incompetent prosecutors, and suspects’ ignorance. Where DNA evidence clears a suspect, array of reasons emerge; misconduct, mistakes, to race and class factors. It is important to make DNA data available to attorneys in order to enable them mount a strong

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