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State v. Willie Grimes: Obtaining Freedom Through the Innocence Inquiry Process

 
Fall 2013— from the North Carolina State Bar Journal 
 
Willie Grimes spent nearly a quarter of a century in prison for a crime that he did not commit. Fingerprints on a banana discovered years later provided the proof of his innocence. His wrongful conviction was the result of careless and reckless police work, misleading hair comparison evidence, significant discovery violations, and misidentification. The discovery violations were dealt with by the court of appeals shortly after his conviction in one sentence finding “no error.”
 
It is often said that our criminal justice system is not perfect. However, the system failed entirely for Willie Grimes and took 24 years of his life. The case of State vs. Willie Grimes is a clear example of why judges and appellate courts must ensure fairness and compliance with discovery laws in our courts. The case also exemplifies the necessity of the Innocence Inquiry process.
 
Read more in the Fall 2013 edition of the NC State Bar Journal (p. 8-12)
 
 
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