CJ Guion – Staff Writer

Raleigh, NC –  The North Carolina SBI, which is currently under investigation after an audit on August 19, 2010, revealed that the agency was responsible for withholding and distorting evidence in over 200 cases. This means that numerous men and women currently sitting behind bars or even those who may be out after serving time could have been placed there after wrongful convictions.  There is also the possibility that three people who have been executed could possibly have been killed for crimes when they were really innocent.

These results were announced after a five month review by two former FBI agents who uncovered old files documenting evidence which investigators kept secret. This review was prompted by the exoneration of Greg Taylor, a man from Wake County who was wrongfully imprisoned for seventeen years for a murder in which he did not commit. SBI analyst Duane Deaver failed to let authorities know that a previous report that stated that a substance found on an SUV used as evidence in the case was not really blood. Another significant case in which similar actions took place was the murder of Michael Jordan’s father.  Deaver reported afterwards that he was informed to write the reports the way in which he did by his bosses. It is believed that he was telling the truth due to the fact that before 1997 it was not required for analysts to report results from sophisticated blood tests.  The results of these blood tests were used as evidence to aid convictions over the course of a 16 year period. Agent Deaver is currently on suspension with pay. In addition, there are at least 9 other agents who are under investigation for participating in these unethical acts.

There are many issues that one might have when hearing about the actions being taken by those of a higher authority. This should especially be of importance to the African American community due to the high number of Blacks behind bars.  The people who may have been wrongfully imprisoned cannot get back the years of which they have lost from family and friends. Those who have been executed cannot return from the dead. It must also be noted that the people who have been released from prison still face the consequences of their crimes even after they’ve been released. Each time that a convicted felon applies for a job they must state on their job application that they have served time in jail, and they must put the details of why. It is very rare that people who put yes to these questions attain interviews. The SBI does not seem to care that they are ruining the well being of potentially innocent people. America is supposed to be the place where everyone has the right to fair trial, but that does not appear to be the case in North Carolina. The worst part of this situation is that when people in power commit crimes of this nature, they rarely have to pay the consequences.