An 8-part series titled “Murder, Race, Justice: The State vs. Darryl Hunt” examines the case against Darryl Hunt, who has been in prison in North Carolina for nearly 20 years despite credible evidence of his innocence. The series concludes a six-month investigation conducted by The Winston-Salem Journal that found that police used questionable tactics and unreliable witnesses to convict Hunt for the 1984 rape and murder of reporter Deborah Sykes. It also reveals that instead of reinvestigating the crime after evidence of Hunt’s innocence emerged, the state chose to simply change its theory. In 1994, DNA evidence excluding Hunt as the man police originally theorized to be the murderer was uncovered, leaving no physical evidence linking Hunt to the crime. In addition to Hunt’s innocence claim, the report also explores how this case has helped to define race relations in the Winston-Salem area for nearly two decades. (Articles by Phoebe Zerwick,, November 16, 2003) Read the series. See also Innocence and Race.

(NOTE: On Wednesday, November 19, DPIC’s original posting of this item was in error when it stated that Mr. Hunt was on North Carolina’s death row. He is serving a term of life in prison.)