State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1467

§ 15A‑1467.  Claims ofinnocence; waiver of convicted person's procedural safeguards and privileges;formal inquiry; notification of the crime victim.

(a)        A claim of factualinnocence may be referred to the Commission by any court, person, or agency.The Commission shall not consider a claim of factual innocence if the convictedperson is deceased. The determination of whether to grant a formal inquiryregarding any other claim of factual innocence is in the discretion of theCommission. The Commission may informally screen and dismiss a case summarilyat its discretion.

(b)        No formal inquiryinto a claim of innocence shall be made by the Commission unless the Directoror the Director's designee first obtains a signed agreement from the convictedperson in which the convicted person waives his or her procedural safeguardsand privileges, agrees to cooperate with the Commission, and agrees to providefull disclosure regarding all inquiry requirements of the Commission. Thewaiver under this subsection does not apply to matters unrelated to a convictedperson's claim of innocence. The convicted person shall have the right toadvice of counsel prior to the execution of the agreement and, if a formalinquiry is granted, throughout the formal inquiry. If counsel represents theconvicted person, then the convicted person's counsel must be present at thesigning of the agreement. If counsel does not represent the convicted person,the Commission Chair shall determine the convicted person's indigency statusand, if appropriate, enter an order for the appointment of counsel for thepurpose of advising on the agreement.

(c)        If a formal inquiryregarding a claim of factual innocence is granted, the Director shall use alldue diligence to notify the victim in the case and explain the inquiry process.The Commission shall give the victim notice that the victim has the right topresent his or her views and concerns throughout the Commission'sinvestigation.

(d)        The Commission mayuse any measure provided in Chapter 15A of the General Statutes and the Rulesof Civil Procedure as set out in G.S. 1A‑1 to obtain informationnecessary to its inquiry. The Commission may also do any of the following:issue process to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production ofevidence, administer oaths, petition the Superior Court of Wake County or ofthe original jurisdiction for enforcement of process or for other relief, andprescribe its own rules of procedure. All challenges with regard to theCommission's authority or the Commission's access to evidence shall be heard bythe Commission Chair in the Chair's judicial capacity, including any in camerareview required by G.S. 15A‑908.

(e)        While performingduties for the Commission, the Director or the Director's designee may servesubpoenas or other process issued by the Commission throughout the State in thesame manner and with the same effect as an officer authorized to serve processof the General Court of Justice.

(f)         All Statediscovery and disclosure statutes in effect at the time of formal inquiry shallbe enforceable as if the convicted person were currently being tried for thecharge for which the convicted person is claiming innocence.

(g)        If, at any pointduring an inquiry, the convicted person refuses to comply with requests of theCommission or is otherwise deemed to be uncooperative by the Commission, theCommission shall discontinue the inquiry. (2006‑184, s. 1.)