View Full Version : DA ask to resign

Sep 9th, 2009, 12:55 PM
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) - A group of clergy and other residents are demanding the resignation of Forsyth District Attorney Tom Keith after he allegedly made racially-charged comments in a local magazine.

The group of about 30 Clergy and citizens held a rally on Tuesday near Wait Chapel in response to Keith's comments in a Yes! Weekly story that was published Aug. 26.

The article centered on Keith's opposition to the recently passed Racial Justice Act, which allows inmates to present statistical evidence showing racial disparities in how the death penalty has been used. In the article, Keith lashes out at supporters of the new law who say that blacks are overrepresented on death row. He referred to a 2005 study from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the Yes! Weekly article, Keith said: "If you're African-American, you're six, seven or eight times more likely to have a violent history," Keith said in the Yes! Weekly article. "I didn't go out there and put a gun in your hand and say, 'You commit eight crimes and I'm a white man, I'll commit one.' That's just instincts, that's just how it is."

Susan Parker, an associate pastor at Wake Forest, said Keith's remarks show he is not being fair to those previously convicted. "By his decisions to defend previous convictions rather than consider new evidence in a fair minded way Mr. Keith has shown a callous disregard for the safety of out citizens," said Parker. "You just can't believe a public official, particularly a public official in such a position, would carry that kind of belief around in this day and time."

Many of the people demanding Keith's resignation also say he is refusing to look at evidence that would clear Kalvin Smith in the Silk Forest assault on Jill Marker. The initial investigation led to the conviction of Kalvin Michael Smith, who is serving 23-29 years in prison for the beating. Smith has maintained his innocence. Marker, blind and with brain damage, now lives in Ohio under 24-hour care.

Tom Keith responded to the allegations with a statement: "It's unfortunate that supporters of (Kalvin) Smith are now seeking to capitalize on an obvious out-of-context statement made by me regarding the Racial Justice Act to bolster their cause and to manipulate public sentiment."

Keith also wrote a letter to the editor of Yes! Weekly. The letter said "I am offended that you would accuse me of be a racist without ever getting to know me personally. My remarks being denominated as racist are like a preacher being called an atheist."

The writer of the Yes! Weekly article, Keith Barber, said he did not take the DA's statements out-of-context and he has the mp3 file to prove it.

"When he said that to me, obviously, that was an insight into his belief system... and it's on the record," said Barber.

utube of explanation:


Sep 9th, 2009, 01:16 PM
Guess who DA was? None other than Keith. Even after DNA proved that Hunt didn't commit the murder Keith refused to budge.

Darryl Hunt: Exonerated after 19 Years
Darryl Hunt was tried and convicted in Winston-Salem in 1985 for the rape and murder
of Deborah Sykes. Hunt consistently maintained his innocence. The State sought the
death penalty, but the jury recommended a life sentence. In 1989, the North Carolina
Supreme Court ordered a new trial because the prosecutor had relied on statements from
a witness after the witness had recanted them.
Hunt was offered a plea bargain which would have allowed him to avoid a second trial
and be sentenced to time served, meaning he would go free. Hunt turned it down because
he refused to confess to something he had not done. Hunt was retried in 1990, and again
convicted and sentenced to life.

In 1994, scientific advances allowed for DNA testing of evidence from the crime scene.
The testing revealed that the DNA of the rapist did not match Hunt’s. In a hearing about
the newly discovered scientific evidence, the State changed its story, now insisting that
there was more than one assailant, and that Hunt still could have killed Sykes. The judge
ruled in favor of the State, and Hunt remained in prison.
Over the years, state and federal courts, including approximately 37 judges, reviewed
Hunt’s case. Hunt’s lawyers asked Governor Hunt and Governor Easley to consider
clemency. By 2003, Hunt’s appeals were turned down by the courts, and both governors
had refused to act. Had Hunt been sentenced to death, he likely would have been

In December 2003, the Winston-Salem Journal published an eight-part series on the
case. Shortly after the series, seven months after an order by a superior court judge and
the threat of a contempt citation, the SBI ran the DNA from the crime scene against state
and federal databases of convicted felons. A match was found, and a man who had been
identified in a similar rape a few months after Sykes’ rape and murder was arrested.
That man confessed to having committed the rape and murder alone, and apologized to
Hunt and to the victim’s family for what he had put them through. The Forsyth County
District Attorney, who for years had insisted Hunt was guilty and fought to keep him in
prison, came forward and said publicly that he believed Hunt was innocent.
Hunt was exonerated in court on February 6, 2004. On April 15, 2004, at the request of
Hunt’s attorneys and also the Forsyth County District Attorney, Darryl Hunt was granted
a formal pardon of innocence by the Governor.

Sep 9th, 2009, 02:00 PM
How the hell did he get re-elected after that sick refusal to recommend clemency for the man who clearly had no reason to be on death row? I'm all for "law and order," but the evidence was staring directly at him, and he just turned a blind eye. Who could vote for someone like that to be the top law enforcer in the county? :confused:

Sep 9th, 2009, 03:05 PM
that is fucking nuts. i fail to understand how the evidence the DNA could be right there in their faces and they refuse to do anything about it.

question? can or did Hunt sue for what happened to him after the DNA evidence came through?

Sep 9th, 2009, 03:18 PM
that is fucking nuts. i fail to understand how the evidence the DNA could be right there in their faces and they refuse to do anything about it.

question? can or did Hunt sue for what happened to him after the DNA evidence came through?
Darryl Hunt, City Negotiate Wrongful Conviction Payment

January 24, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - A February deadline is looming as the city of Winston-Salem and Darryl Hunt negotiate a possible settlement over a wrongful conviction and more than 18 years in prison in a rape and slaying case.

Hunt has asked for $2.6 million and the city has offered $500,000, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Wednesday.

"Half a million is a wholly inadequate figure for 18 years of a person's life," the Rev. Carlton Eversley said during a meeting of the Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity.

Hunt has a Feb. 6 deadline to file a civil rights lawsuit if an agreement isn't reached.

"We're in a confidential situation," Mayor Allen Joines said. "I would say that the city is interested in doing the right thing."

Three years ago, Hunt was exonerated for a conviction in the slaying of Deborah Sykes, 25, a newspaper copy editor who was raped and stabbed going to work Aug. 10, 1984.

Hunt was in prison more than 18 years until DNA showed Willard Brown was the rapist. Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

Attorney Mark Rabil said he was helping Hunt with the civil claim.

"What has to be weighed is Darryl's desire for finality with a reasonable and fair resolution," Rabil said.

The state already paid Hunt $358,545. He signed an agreement not to sue the state or the district attorney's office, but the waiver doesn't cover the city and its police department.

The city council is expected to discuss the case Feb. 5 in a closed session.

Peter Neufeld of the Innocence Project in New York said he has won wrongful conviction settlements ranging from $3 million to more than $6 million and "$2.6 million is a bargain."