15-Year Anniversary Celebration

In 2022, the Commission celebrated its 15th Anniversary!* The Commission is incredibly proud of all it has accomplished in its first 15 years as the only state agency of its kind in the nation.

The Commission held several events throughout the week of October 24, 2022, to mark the occasion, including a 15th Anniversary Celebration and our first CLE to educate the legal community about the Commission process.

CLE Videos

(CLE credit is no longer being offered for these videos.)

Commission Overview

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Improving Post Conviction Outcomes for Victims of Crime

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What We've Learned in 15 Years

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Commissioner Perspectives

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Chief Justice Paul Newby declared the week of October 24, 2022, to be Innocence Inquiry Commission week for the North Carolina Judicial Branch and Governor Roy Cooper declared the week of October 24, 2022, to be Innocence Inquiry Commission week for the state of North Carolina. The Commission was honored to receive recognition from both the Chief Justice and the Governor for its impact on the criminal justice system in North Carolina.

On October 26, 2022, the Commission held its 15th Anniversary Celebration at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center at NC State University in Raleigh, NC. We welcomed current and former Commissioners, former staff members, members of the General Assembly, and various stakeholders and partners across the criminal justice system. We had an amazing turnout and are thankful to those in attendance for their continued support of the Commission.

During the celebration, Executive Director Lindsey Guice Smith welcomed guests and highlighted the Commission’s accomplishments in its first 15 years. Lindsey also honored the 15 individuals who have been exonerated as part of the Commission’s process. In total, these exonerations represent 296 years spent in prison for crimes they did not commit.

The Commission’s current Chair, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock and Representative Jamie Boles both spoke about the Commission’s impact on them personally and on the criminal justice system in North Carolina. Finally, the Commission presented its first Criminal Justice Partner Award to Chief David L. Hess of the Roxboro Police Department in recognition of someone who has come alongside the Commission to support its mission to ensure the innocent as well as the guilty receive justice.

On October 27, 2022, the Commission held a CLE at the North Carolina Judicial Center. Executive Director Lindsey Guice Smith gave an overview of the Commission’s process and what we have accomplished in the last 15 years, Victim Services Program Manager Emma Paul gave a presentation about the Commission’s groundbreaking Victim Services Program, former Associate Director Beth Tanner gave a presentation on her research into the data compiled by the Commission over 15 years and how it can shape the criminal justice system, and Commissioners Johnson Britt, Robin Colbert, and John Boswell did a panel about their experiences on the Commission.

*Although the Commission’s 15th Anniversary was in 2021, global events prevented the Commission from properly celebrating until 2022!