Professor Essary appointed to N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission

RALEIGH, N.C. – Campbell Law School professor and former dean Melissa Essary has been appointed to a three year term on the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (NCIIC). The appointment was recently made by Supreme Court of North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin.

“I’m honored that Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed me to this Commission, the work of which I’ve long admired,” said Essary. “I hope that this Commission, which seeks truth, ultimately becomes a model for other states in our criminal justice system. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners.”

Essary will serve as an alternate to a statutory commissioner, attending Commission meetings and substituting as needed.

Created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2006, the NCIIC began operating in 2007 and has reviewed hundreds of innocence claims and conducted multiple hearings in the years since. The Commission is charged with providing an independent and balanced truth-seeking forum for credible post-conviction claims of innocence in North Carolina. The Commission is separate from the appeals process. A person exonerated by the Commission process is declared innocent and cannot be retried for the same crime.

For more information on the NCIIC visit please

Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law School has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The school has twice received the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association, honoring its First-Year Professionalism Development Series in 2003 and the Connections mentorship program in 2016. The school has also been recognized by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,900 alumni, including more than 3,000 who reside and work in North Carolina. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit



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