State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1468

§ 15A‑1468.  Commissionproceedings.

(a)        At the completionof a formal inquiry, all relevant evidence shall be presented to the fullCommission. As part of its proceedings, the Commission may conduct publichearings. The determination as to whether to conduct public hearings is solelyin the discretion of the Commission. Any public hearing held in accordance withthis section shall be subject to the Commission's rules of operation.

(a1)      The Commission maycompel the testimony of any witness. If a witness asserts his or her privilegeagainst self‑incrimination in a proceeding under this Article, theCommission chair, in the chair's judicial capacity, may order the witness totestify or produce other information if the chair first determines that thewitness's testimony will likely be material to reach a correct factualdetermination in the case at hand. However, the Commission chair shall notorder the witness to testify or produce other information that wouldincriminate the witness in the prosecution of any offense other than an offensefor which the witness is granted immunity under this subsection. The ordershall prevent a prosecutor from using the compelled testimony, or evidencederived therefrom, to prosecute the witness for previous false statements madeunder oath by the witness in prior proceedings. The prosecutor has a right tobe heard by the Commission chair prior to the chair issuing the order. Oncegranted, the immunity shall apply throughout all proceedings conducted pursuantto this Article. The limited immunity granted under this section shall notprohibit prosecution of statements made under oath that are unrelated to theCommission's formal inquiry, false statements made under oath duringproceedings under this Article, or prosecution for any other crimes.

(b)        The Director shalluse all due diligence to notify the victim at least 30 days prior to anyproceedings of the full Commission held in regard to the victim's case. TheCommission shall notify the victim that the victim is permitted to attendproceedings otherwise closed to the public, subject to any limitations imposedby this Article. If the victim plans to attend proceedings otherwise closed tothe public, the victim shall notify the Commission at least 10 days in advanceof the proceedings of his or her intent to attend. If the Commission determinesthat the victim's presence may interfere with the investigation, the Commissionmay close any portion of the proceedings to the victim.

(c)        After hearing theevidence, the full Commission shall vote to establish further case dispositionas provided by this subsection. All eight voting members of the Commissionshall participate in that vote.

Except in cases where theconvicted person entered and was convicted on a plea of guilty, if five or moreof the eight voting members of the Commission conclude there is sufficientevidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review, the case shall bereferred to the senior resident superior court judge in the district oforiginal jurisdiction by filing with the clerk of court the opinion of theCommission with supporting findings of fact, as well as the record in supportof such opinion, with service on the district attorney in noncapital cases andservice on both the district attorney and Attorney General in capital cases. Incases where the convicted person entered and was convicted on a plea of guilty,if all of the eight voting members of the Commission conclude there issufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review, the case shallbe referred to the senior resident superior court judge in the district oforiginal jurisdiction.

If less than five of the eightvoting members of the Commission, or in cases where the convicted personentered and was convicted on a guilty plea less than all of the eight votingmembers of the Commission, conclude there is sufficient evidence of factualinnocence to merit judicial review, the Commission shall conclude there isinsufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review. The Commissionshall document that opinion, along with supporting findings of fact, and filethose documents and supporting materials with the clerk of superior court inthe district of original jurisdiction, with a copy to the district attorney andthe senior resident superior court judge.

The Director of the Commissionshall use all due diligence to notify immediately the victim of theCommission's conclusion in a case.

(d)        Evidence ofcriminal acts, professional misconduct, or other wrongdoing disclosed throughformal inquiry or Commission proceedings shall be referred to the appropriateauthority. Evidence favorable to the convicted person disclosed through formalinquiry or Commission proceedings shall be disclosed to the convicted personand the convicted person's counsel, if the convicted person has counsel.

(e)        All proceedings ofthe Commission shall be recorded and transcribed as part of the record. AllCommission member votes shall be recorded in the record. All records andproceedings of the Commission are confidential and are exempt from publicrecord and public meeting laws except that the supporting records for theCommission's conclusion that there is sufficient evidence of factual innocenceto merit judicial review, including all files and materials considered by theCommission and a full transcript of the hearing before the Commission, shallbecome public at the time of referral to the superior court. Commission recordsfor conclusions of insufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicialreview shall remain confidential, except as provided in subsection (d) of thissection.  (2006‑184,s. 1; 2009‑360, s. 1.)