Law
6:00 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Innocence Panel to Hear New Evidence in Murder Case

Two North Carolina men convicted of murder say there is new evidence that shows they are innocent. Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges in connection with a shooting in Buncombe County more than 10 years ago. They appear before the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission today. That panel is responsible for last year's exoneration of Greg Taylor, who spent 16 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Executive director Kendra Montgomery-Blinn says the commission is the only government-appointed body in the nation that hears claims of innocence after convictions.

Kendra Montgomery-Blinn: "North Carolina has been quite groundbreaking in considering the problem of wrongful convictions and studying those and making legislative reform, and then creating commissions such as this one to review those cases."

The two other cases heard by the commission were referred back to local courts for further review. More than 800 claims have been sent to the panel. The Buncombe County district attorney and defense attorneys said they could not comment on the case.

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