Greg Taylor spent 17 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
A precedent setting hearing set him free and rocked North Carolina’s criminal justice system.
This landmark case highlights a groundbreaking legal process needed nationwide. The time is now.
How criminal justice
reform freed Greg Taylor
Greg Taylor spent 17 years in prison
for a brutal murder he did not commit.
A precedent setting hearing set him free and rocked
North Carolina’s criminal justice community.
This landmark case highlights a groundbreaking
legal process needed nationwide.
In Pursuit of Justice, set in North Carolina, is a criminal justice documentary with a unique answer to wrongful convictions nationwide.
Our story begins September 25, 1991, when Greg, out partying with a friend, Johnny Beck, gets his truck stuck in a muddy field. At 3:30AM, as they walk out of the field, they pass the brutally beaten body of Jacquetta Thomas. Fewer than 18 hours later, both are arrested for Jacquetta’s murder.
Greg and his family fought the system for 17 years. They sacrificed hours of time, spent over $130,000, and were denied at every judicial level. Without hope, Greg steeled himself to spending the rest of his life in prison.
Meanwhile, conservative North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. and his law clerk, Chris Mumma, were examining the causes of wrongful convictions. Their work led a politically divided state legislature to establish the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission – a state supported, independent agency that has the power to completely investigate claims of innocence. Greg’s case is historic – he’s the first person in the country to be freed through this unique legal process.
Greg’s story teaches us wrongful convictions can happen to anyone, and there are effective, reasonable reforms that can dramatically improve our criminal justice system. Each one of us is also a potential juror with a obligation to understand how our legal system works, the weaknesses that need strengthening in that system, and how our decisions can impact others’ lives.
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NEXT OPEN EVENTS:
Join us August 3, 4, & 5 for our FREE Work-in-Progress screenings at the National Black Theatre (Film) Festival! Bring your coffee, every screening is at 10:00AM in a/perture cinema’s studio 1, and plan on visiting one of the local restaurants for lunch.
All screenings will be followed by a Q&A. Our tentative plan is that Chris Mumma and Johnny Beck will be at Saturday’s screening.