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Archive for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Man wrongfully convicted of rape, murder visits KU to discuss justice system

September 13, 2011

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At Ecumenical Christian Ministries on the Kansas University campus Tuesday, Darryl Hunt spoke about how he spent two decades in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit. Hunt now does advocacy work to bring the issue of wrongful convictions to the “consciousness” of those who could be future lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

At Ecumenical Christian Ministries on the Kansas University campus Tuesday, Darryl Hunt spoke about how he spent two decades in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit. Hunt now does advocacy work to bring the issue of wrongful convictions to the “consciousness” of those who could be future lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

Darryl Hunt spent nearly two decades in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit.

He’s spent the last seven years traveling the country, inspiring others to fight injustice.

Tuesday evening, Hunt brought his message to the Kansas University community for “The Arc of Justice,” an event featuring a documentary about Hunt’s case, followed by a discussion about race and justice.

In 1984, an all-white jury convicted Hunt of the rape and murder of a woman in Winston-Salem, N.C. Always maintaining his innocence, Hunt secured DNA testing to prove he didn’t commit the rape. It took another decade of advocacy and legal maneuvering — as well as a confession by the real killer — to get him out of prison. That was nearly eight years ago, on Christmas Eve.

“At 11:30 in the morning,” said Hunt, recalling the moment he was set free.

Giving interviews to several media outlets near the KU campus Tuesday, Hunt talked about his advocacy work, which includes four to five appearances a month.

At the event co-sponsored by the KU School of Law, School of Journalism, and School of Social Welfare, Hunt said he wanted to bring the issue of wrongful convictions to the “consciousness” of those who could be future lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

“Just ... knowing it can happen,” Hunt said. “And how easily it happens.”

In Kansas, two men, Eddie Lowery and Joe C. Jones, have been exonerated through DNA evidence. Both men were convicted of rapes they didn’t commit, but spent years behind bars before clearing their names.

About 70 people watched the documentary about Hunt’s case at Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave. After the film, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little introduced Hunt before a panel discussion on race and justice.

Hunt said the justice system needs more people willing to fight for causes they believe in.

“Get in the system and make it better,” Hunt said. “Don’t give up. Keep pushing. Keep asking questions.”

Comments

kansasredlegs 3 years, 3 months ago

Two tragedies to 2 innocent people because of one guilty man. Would be interesting if blogging existed back then to read all the self-righteous, indignant "shoot him", "hang him", "if it would have been my sister / daughter there would be no need for a trial" comments we see all the time here on these here pages about crime-related stories. Next time you start to write that nonsense, just remember Mr. Hunt's own personal tragedy and refrain making such statements and removing all doubt about your intellectual ability.

edmclinn 3 years, 3 months ago

If the people that made those type of statements actually have the ability and desire to perform critical thinking then they wouldn't make statements like that to begin with.

buffalo63 3 years, 3 months ago

Too often in cases like this, evidence is made up or withheld. I would hope the people involved in this type of activity would be punished.

Linda Endicott 3 years, 3 months ago

Have YOU ever gotten away with a crime you committed?

Why on earth would you ask such a thing about a man that spent so many years in prison for a crime he didn't commit?

buffalo63 3 years, 3 months ago

I listened to his story on KCUR earlier in the day. He was in another location at the time of the crime and the police made up evidence. Mr. Hunt isn't the first or only person to have this happen.

gl0ckUser 3 years, 3 months ago

wrongfully convicted in Kansas......(black guy)... Say it aint so Kansas.

Guy Neighbors & Carrie Neighbors should be added to that list

Oldsoul 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

bangaranggerg 3 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if he was wrongfully accused of the rape and murder that some Americans, some REAL Americans are suggesting that Glenn Beck committed.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

"chancellor of color"

Did the other chancellors before her not have a color? Could you see through them?

Frank Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

Hunt was held for so long because the prosecution was determined to keep him in prison and preserve its original conviction. When the DNA evidence showed it was another man with a history of rape, the victim's family refused to believe it wasn't Hunt, despite the lack of any evidence.

For someone who spent a great deal of his life in the pen despite his innocence, Hunt is amazingly forgiving.

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