Wrongful Conviction and Incarceration

Martin & Jones was lead counsel in two of North Carolina’s highest profile wrongful conviction cases which settled for more than $12,000,000 combined.

Our attorneys resolved a case on behalf of Dwayne Dail for $7,520,000. Mr. Dail served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Law enforcement in his case inaccurately and repeatedly told Dail that the evidence against him had been destroyed. After Mr. Dail was exonerated with DNA testing, Martin & Jones filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and after pushing the case to trial, settled the case.

Martin & Jones resolved a case on behalf of Greg Taylor for $4,625,000. Mr. Taylor served 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence helped set aside Mr. Taylor’s conviction. Following his exoneration, Martin & Jones filed a civil rights lawsuit against the crime lab officials responsible creating a false lab report that resulted in his conviction. After three years of litigation, the case was settled.

  • Greg Taylor Declared Innocent After Serving 17 Years in Prison
  • Exonerated Man Receives $7.5 Million from City of Goldsboro

Though thankfully not common, it is a tragic fact that innocent people are convicted and unjustly deprived of their liberty. Wrongful convictions can result from a variety of different circumstances.

When a wrongful conviction results from the misconduct of a law enforcement officer, for instance through fabrication of evidence or the withholding of evidence favorable to the accused, an individual who was the victim of wrongful incarceration may have legal claims that can be pursued.

Damage Limits for Wrongful Conviction in North Carolina

North Carolina provides for a limited statutory stipend to those who were wrongfully incarcerated. However, the amount that can be provided to an exonerated individual is capped at $750,000. That sum is woefully inadequate to compensate someone who may have lost the best and most productive 15 or 20 years of their life as a result of a wrongful conviction.

Lawsuits against state, local and federal governments can be extremely complicated, expensive and time-consuming. Government entities and agents typically seek the dismissal of civil rights claims on immunity grounds, claiming that they cannot be sued for the actions complained of. The attorneys at Martin & Jones are experienced in dealing with and overcoming the various immunity defenses which are commonly asserted in civil rights actions. Martin & Jones actively pursues claims against law enforcement officers and the state of North Carolina on behalf of individuals who were wrongfully convicted.  These cases are difficult, time-consuming and vigorously defended.  In addition to the difficult immunity defenses, there are often complex issues involving insurance coverage.

Our attorneys are dedicated to correcting injustice; we will not be intimidated by the defense. Our clients have lost years of their lives, and we are committed to making sure their voices are heard.

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted and found innocent, contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. Call 919-821-0005 or toll free at 800-662-1234.