FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What cases do we take?
All of the following criteria must be met before an innocence claim may be investigated:
1. Conviction must have been in a North Carolina state court. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
2. Conviction must be for a felony. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
3. Applicant must be a living person. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
4. Applicant must be claiming complete factual innocence for any criminal responsibility for the crime. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
5. Credible evidence of innocence must exist. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
6. Verifiable evidence of innocence must exist. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
7. Claim must not have been previously heard at trial or in a post-conviction hearing. N.C. G.S. 15A-1460(1).
8. Applicant must sign agreement pursuant to § 15A-1467.
Who can initiate a claim?
According to N.C. G.S. 15A-1467. A claim of factual innocence may be referred to the Commission by any court, a State or local agency, a claimant, or a claimant’s counsel. Most claims are initiated by the convicted person (claimant). A claimant’s friend or family member may not initiate a claim, however they may provide our contact information to the claimant and suggest her or she write to us.
Click here for our contact information: Contact Us
How do I initiate a claim?
There are no specific forms for initiating a claim. We ask that you send us information in writing about the case and the new evidence of innocence. Be sure to include contact information for yourself and the claimant. We will then contact the claimant and any other people that are necessary in order to follow up on the claim.
How long will it take to process my claim?
There is no definite answer. Different cases take different amounts of time to investigate and have evidence tested. Please look at the Case Progression Flowchart to see how the cases are processed.
What if there was an error in my trial?
The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission was created by the legislature to investigate cases where new evidence of complete factual innocence has emerged since conviction. We do not review technical or procedural trial errors. Please see our North Carolina links page for other organizations that may be able to help you.