Christine “Chris” Mumma is the Executive Director of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence (nccai.org), which represents North Carolina inmates asserting credible claims of innocence. The Center also advocates for criminal justice reform and works with North Carolina law school Innocence Projects® to provide training for future prosecution and defense attorneys. Ms. Mumma attended UNC’s School of Law after a nine-year career in corporate finance and went on to at the North Carolina Supreme Court for Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr.
After her three year clerkship, the two worked together to establish the groundbreaking North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, which studied causation issues associated with wrongful convictions and recommended policy reforms designed to increase the reliability of convictions. Ms. Mumma has represented 9 North Carolina citizens who served decades in prison before being exonerated for crimes they did not commit. She has contributed to the investigation of 18 other exonerations. Criminal justice reform initiatives championed by Ms. Mumma have included jailhouse informant reliability standards, eyewitness identification procedures, recording of interrogations, expanded preservation of biological evidence, increased access to DNA testing, increased compensation and support for exonerees, the establishment of the country’s first State funded Innocence Inquiry Commission, and North Carolina’s 2011 Forensic Sciences Act.
Ms. Mumma is an adjunct professor at UNC’s School of Law, where she teaches “Wrongful Convictions” and previously taught “Legal Research and Writing.” She has received the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Kellie Crabtree and Thurgood Marshall awards, the News and Observer’s Tar Heel of the Week and Tar Heel of the Year awards, and the NC Justice Center’s Defender of Justice Litigation award.