The Arc of Justice: Man imprisoned for 20 years for murder he didn’t commit speaks about experience.


Event details

The School of Journalism, School of Law, School of Social Welfare and Ecumenical Campus Ministries at the University of Kansas will sponsor a screening of the feature documentary “The Trials of Darryl Hunt,” and follow-up discussion panel with Darryl Hunt and other seminal players in his exoneration. Hunt spent 20 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit based on erroneous identification from a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., at the Ecumenical Campus Ministries.

On September 13th, Hunt will be joined by Griggs and Zerwick as part of an in-depth discussion on race, justice and the forces that helped support Hunt’s release. The documentary screening will take place from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. KU’s Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will open the panel discussion, which will run from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

In 1984, a young white woman was murdered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. With no physical evidence, Darryl Hunt, a 19-year-old African-American man, was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to life in prison. In 1994, DNA tests proved Hunt’s innocence, however, he would spend another decade in behind bars before being exonerated and released. The man whose DNA was found at the crime scene has since pleaded guilty to the murder.

The event is organized by Simran Sethi, Associate Professor of Journalism, as part of the University’s journalism course on Diversity in Media. “Mr. Hunt’s case revealed racial tensions that many assumed had abated. The ongoing efforts of Hunt’s legal team, support of the African-American faith community (including the work of Imam Khalid Griggs, one of the founding members of the Darryl Hunt Defense Fund) and meticulous investigative reporting by Phoebe Zerwick helped exonerate a man who should never have been imprisoned.”

The event is being co-sponsored by the Department of African and African-American Studies and the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

The Ecumenical Campus Ministries building is located at 1204 Oread Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66044. The discussion will be archived on the School of Journalism website at


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