"Tom had gone to law school at UNC-Chapel Hill, where Rich Rosen had been one of his professors"

Rich Rosen

Rich Rosen
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumRich Rosen - Credit: Rich Rosen

Rich Rosen is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  He returned to Chapel Hill in 1980 as the first supervising attorney in the criminal law clinic.  He went on to teach numerous classes at Chapel Hill relating to criminal law such as ethics for criminal lawyers, criminal law, criminal procedure: investigation, lawyering process and seminars in judicial sentencing and capital punishment.  Rich Rosen also played a big role in the Innocence Project and the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.


The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence

The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence is located in Durham, North Carolina.  The Center is a non-profit organization that identifies and investigates cases in which criminals are convicted of crimes that they did not commit.  In order for the Center to take a case, several criteria must be met by the inmate;  they must have been accused of a felony in the state of North Carolina, they must be asserting a claim of innocence, they must be completely innocent of the crime,   they must currently be imprisoned, they must no longer have an appeal of right, the claimant cannot be serving a sentence for any other crimes that they are not claiming innocence to, they must be unrepresented, and there has to be a possibility of new evidence which was not presented at the time of the trial that can be used to prove them not guilty.  A claim to submit the case into the Center can be submitted by anyone.  After the case is screened and proceeds, it is then assigned to a student volunteer who will research the case.  It is then discussed with advisors and other students where many points are taken into account.  Two of the questions asked during these meetings are “Is there credible evidence of innocence?” and “Are there avenues we can pursue to prove the innocence of this person?”  If the case passes through both of these, it is then taken to a team of volunteers along with an advisor to begin investigation.

Submitted by student author Marlene Taylor