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. While sexual assault was central to the case, in 1994 DNA testing cleared him of involvement in the case, throwing the whole case into question.
Wrongful Conviction: The Darryl Hunt Case
The real killer emerged in 2003, confessing to the rape and murder of Sykes. Willard Brown’s confession led to the release of Hunt. For the nineteen years he served time in prison, Hunt always denied ever having raped and killed Sykes. In 2004, Anderson Cromer, a Superior Court Judge dismissed Hunt’s case with prejudice, implying that he could never stand trial for the same case in future. It is telling that Sykes’ mother remained adamant that Hunt had killed her daughter, even though he offered his condolences for her death, and forgave all for the years he was in prison. Hunt is now a motivational speaker, author, community activist and mentor, spreading a message of compassion and reform. He appeared before a Senate Judiciary Committee to speak about the appeal process against the death penalty, and was central to North Carolina’s bid to pass a Death Penalty Moratorium Bill. Background and Justification
The conviction of Darryl Hunt brings to the fore some pertinent issues concerning the legal systems and...