Topic: “Reconstructing Wrongful Convictions”
Description of the topic. Recognize and Prevent Human Fallibility in Criminal Investigations
Christine Mumma is Executive Director of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence (nccai.org), which coordinates the work of North Carolina law school Innocence Projects®. The Center has represented numerous North Carolina citizens who have been exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Most recently, in September 2016, Mr. Johnny Small was exonerated after serving 28 years, from the ages of 15 to 43, for a murder in Wilmington, NC. Ms. Mumma served as executive director of Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake’s North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, which studied causation issues associated with wrongful convictions and recommended policy reforms designed to increase the reliability of convictions. Criminal justice reform initiatives championed by Ms. Mumma have included jailhouse informant reliability standards, eyewitness identification, recording of interrogations, expanded preservation of biological evidence, increased access to DNA testing, increased compensation and support for exonerees, the establishment of the country’s first State funded Innocence Inquiry Commission, and North Carolina’s 2011 Forensic Sciences Act. Ms. Mumma is an adjunct professor at UNC’s School of Law, where she teaches “Wrongful Convictions” and has taught “Legal Research and Writing.” She serves on the boards of North Carolina Indigent Services Commission, North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Forensic Advisory Committee, and the North Carolina State Bar’s Administration of Justice and Legislative Advisory Committees.