MAY 22, 2010:
Gov. Bev Perdue pardoned Greg Taylor this afternoon, clearing the way for the Wake County man to collect a payment from the state for 17 years of wrongful imprisonment.
Taylor was exonerated in February by a three-judge panel who dismantled a murder conviction that robbed him of nearly 2 decades of freedom. He was the 1st North Carolinian freed through the Innocence Inquiry Commission, a pioneering group created in 2006 to examine claims of innocence.
Taylor could now collect $750,000 in compensation from the state for its mistake.
"Gregory Taylor was forced to pay a debt to society for a crime he did not commit. No amount of money can buy back those 17 years, but at least this pardon of innocence will clear his name and make him eligible to receive compensation for his unjust imprisonment," Gov. Perdue said.
Taylor was convicted in 1993 of murder in the death of Jacquetta Thomas, a Raleigh woman who was beaten to death and ditched in a secluded cul de sac in east Raleigh.
Taylor swore his innocence from the start. By the time he appealed to the Innocence Inquiry Commission in 2006, he'd exhausted every appeal - and hope - of clearing his name.
Taylor's long-awaited journey in the free world has not been easy. Not a month after his exoneration, Raleigh police reopened Thomas' murder case and insisted on examining everything Taylor wore the night she was killed.
Perdue delayed her pardon until the test results confirmed - again- that nothing linked Taylor to Thomas' murder.
"I hope this puts to rest any speculation that I had anything to do with this," Taylor said Friday afternoon. "I feel like I've been exonerated again."
(source: News & Observer) Thanx to Death Penalty News & Updates (Dr. Rick Halperin)