“believes 100 percent” are innocent but
can do nothing about because of lost evidence or other roadblocks; and the one
thing she says she cannot do until every
innocent person in jail is free: relax.
“I worry that I’ve forgotten how not to
work,” Mumma said. “And maybe I never
Mitch would like his wife to find an “exit
strategy” from the center, to eventually leave
it in capable hands and detach from the
weighty emotions it requires — although
part of him fears she’ll want another go at
politics if she does. (She ran, unsuccessfully,
for N.C. Senate in 2004 in a heavily Demo-
“I don’t know that she’s rescuable,”
Mitch said. “I can’t pull her back. She col-
lects people in need.”
That is something for which Greg Tay-
lor is infinitely grateful.
“Seventeen years ago, my trial lawyer
These days, he sounds a lot like
told me he was too busy working in his
yard to go over the closing argument with
me that he was going to deliver in my
case,” Taylor said. “And then there is Chris-
tine, who came to see me every day in my
Wake County jail cell. She sat on my bunk
and went over everything that happened
that day. Who got the better results?”
Taylor, who has spent a great deal of
time speaking before students at law schools,
said he feels a responsibility to Lake, to
Mumma and to everyone like him, still
waiting for serendipity — or a bull-headed
oil brat from New Jersey — to free them.
“If my story could help change one person’s life for the better, wonderful,” Taylor
said. “If it could change more, if it could help
to change the system, even better. The bottom line is, everybody should have the same
purpose: to convict the guilty. And ultimately,
that has to do with the truth. So we have to
do what we can to get to the truth.
“Why should anybody be afraid of
The issues raised in Taylor’s case prompted
a review of the SBI’s handling of forensic evidence that showed SBI analysts had withheld
or distorted evidence in more than 200 cases.
Follow the story at
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TO SEE WHAT
HAVE TO SAY
BETH MCNICHOL ’ 95 is a freelance writer
and former associate editor of the Review.
CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW