The seventh episode of HBO Max’s crime series ‘The Staircase’ follows Evelyn Ivins, an attorney working for Project for Actual Innocence, an organization that deals with wrongful convictions. Evelyn investigates several State Bureau of Investigation reports and finds out that the reports aren’t credible enough. The investigation leads her to the discovery that blood-spatter analyst Duane Deaver withheld negative test results concerning the case of Greg Taylor, who has been in prison for seventeen years following a conviction influenced by Deaver’s testimony.
Greg gets exonerated after Evelyn’s intervention. As the show opens a window to another murder case, one must be wondering whether Greg Taylor is actually a real person. Well, let’s find out!
Is Greg Taylor Based on a Real Person?
Yes, Greg Taylor is a real person. On September 26, 1991, Jacquetta Thomas was found dead in Raleigh, North Carolina. Greg Taylor’s SUV was parked reportedly 100 yards away from the body. When Greg and his friend returned to the place for the vehicle, they were arrested on suspicion of Jacquetta’s murder. Deaver, a blood-spatter analyst at North Carolina SBI at the time, testified that blood was found on Greg’s vehicle, which was the only physical evidence in the case against Greg. The jury found Greg guilty of murdering Jacquetta and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
While Greg was in prison, Craig H. Taylor, another prisoner without any connections to Greg, confessed to killing Jacquetta. In 2010, Greg was granted another hearing to prove his innocence. In the hearing, Deaver testified that subsequent tests were conducted on the substance collected from Greg’s vehicle, only to determine it wasn’t human blood at all, contrary to his initial testimony. Neither Deaver nor SBI did send the test results to the prosecution or defense, which could have proved Greg’s innocence earlier. In addition, Eva Kelly, who initially testified that she saw the victim with Greg and his friend, testified that the woman she saw didn’t resemble Jacquetta. Chris Mumma of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence assisted Greg during the hearing.
After the hearing, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled that Greg Taylor was innocent. The state of North Carolina gave Greg $750,000 in compensation for the wrongful conviction. In 2011, Greg sued the State Bureau of Investigation’s five former agents and supervisors, claiming that they either intentionally misrepresented blood test results or countenanced the practice. In 2013, SBI agreed to pay Greg a sum of $4.6 million to settle the lawsuit. “I am just glad it’s over. If I never see another courtroom, I will be happy,” Greg said, via WRAL, after settling the lawsuit.
Where is Greg Taylor Now?
As per sources, Greg Taylor currently resides in Cary, North Carolina. He is a software developer and computer programmer by profession. “I wake up every morning thankful for the life I have and for being free. And then the second moment hits when I recognize that there are those that are still fighting like I used to,” Greg told WRAL about his time as a free man in 2020, around ten years after proving his innocence. After his release from prison, he reconnected with his family. “I toss around my three grandkids and travel as much as I can,” he added to WRAL.
Greg was involved in the making of ‘In Pursuit of Justice,’ a documentary about his wrongful conviction. He had attended screenings and discussions of the same to advocate the need to work for wrongfully convicted individuals. According to WRAL, his mission is “to not see anybody else go through what I’ve been through.”
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