NC-CRED is dedicated to understanding how racial minorities are disproportionately represented in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. We conduct detailed studies that account for all potential explanations, including socio-economic factors. When individuals are similar in all ways except for their race or ethnicity, and have vastly different outcomes in the criminal or juvenile justice systems, we can conclude that those systems are unfair. If and when we find examples of unfair treatment, we will strive to create recommendations for reform that have support from all of our professionally diverse Commission members. NC-CRED meets four times a year to review research, significant developments regarding race and criminal law, and to discuss collaborative solutions for racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Board Members & Staff

Gregory Weeks (Chair)

Former Judge, Fourth Division of the Superior Court of NC & Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, 12th Judicial District

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The Honorable Gregory A. Weeks is a former judge for the Fourth Division of the Superior Court of North Carolina. He served the court from January 1989 until his retirement on December 31, 2012. Over the years, Weeks was assigned or took on challenging cases. In the mid-1990s, he presided over the court proceedings in Robeson County against the two men accused of killing James Jordan, father of retired basketball star Michael Jordan. One of the men pleaded guilty; the other was found guilty at trial. Weeks held some of the state’s first hearings on whether racism put convicted killers on death row unfairly and as a result converted the sentences of three to life in prison without parole. Weeks worked several years in private practice and was an assistant Cumberland County public defender for 10 years. He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sentencing Project.

Hon. Robert N. Hunter (Vice-Chair)

Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals


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Judge Hunter has served both on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the North Carolina Court of Appeals since 2009. Before beginning his public service on these courts, he was in private practice in Greensboro, North Carolina with several private firms including Hunter, Higgins, Miles Elam and Benjamin and Patton, Boggs LLC.

During his 35 years in private practice he served as Deputy Attorney General, Chairman of the State Board of Elections, Public Administrator for Guilford County and member of the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Council.

Judge Hunter has served as an adjunct professor at UNC-Greensboro Business School, Wake Forest University Law School, Elon Law School, and N.C. Central Law School. He has served as a speaker in numerous continuing legal education seminars.In 2011 he received an award from the Advocates for Justice for Outstanding Appellate Judge of the Year and has received the McNeill Smith award from the NC Bar Association Committee on Constitutional Law and Individual Rights.

James E. Williams, Jr.

Public Defesnder, Orange & Chatham Counties

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James E. Williams, Jr. is Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties in North Carolina where he has served since 1990.  Prior to 1990 he was Felony Chief of the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office.  Mr. Williams graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1973, and Duke University School of Law with a J.D. in 1979.  He is a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ).  In October 2010, Mr. Williams made a motion before the NCAJ Board of Governors to establish a Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System which was successfully adapted in October of 2010.  The work of the Task Force led to the establishment of the North Carolina Commission on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System in September 2012.  Mr. Williams then served as the Chair of the Task Force on North Carolina Commission on Racial Disparities.  He also chairs the North Carolina Public Defenders’ Association Committee on Racial Equity and is a current member of the North Carolina Chief Justice Commission on Professionalism.

Richard M. Taylor, Jr.


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Bio coming soon…


All Members
  • Daryl Atkinson – Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • The Honorable Cheri L. Beasley – Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court
  • Duane Bryant – Law Office of Duane Bryant, High Point
  • Kami Chavis Simmons – Director of Criminal Justice Program & Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • Stormie Forte – SBI Ombudsman at the NC Dept. of Justice
  • Lorrin Freeman – District Attorney, Wake County
  • Dennis Gaddy – Executive Director, Community Success Initiative
  • Rick Glazier – Executive Director, NC Justice Center
  • James Hinson – Deputy Chief, Greensboro Police Department
  • The Honorable Alma Hinton- Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, District Six
  • The Honorable Robert N. Hunter – NC Supreme Court Justice
  • Claudia Hurtado-Myers, Senior Staff Attorney, US Commission on Refugees and Immigrants
  • James Knight – Sheriff, Edgecombe County
  • Jennie Lancaster – Former Chief Deputy Secretary, NC Division of Adult Correction
  • Thomas Maher – Executive Director, Indigent Defense Services
  • Harold Medlock – Chief of Police, Fayetteville Police Department
  • James Moore – Chief of Police, City of Rocky Mount
  • Raul Pinto  – Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, NC Justice Center
  • Tonza Ruffin – Ruffin Law Firm, Halifax, NC
  • The Honorable Leon Stanback – Former District Attorney, Durham, Former Superior Court Judge
  • Christopher Swecker – Chairman of the Board, Governor’s Crime Commission
  • The Honorable Mary Ann Tally – Superior Court Judge, District 12C
  • Gabe Talton – Staff Attorney, Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
  • Richard M. Taylor, Jr. – CEO, NC Advocates for Justice
  • The Honorable Louis Trosch, Jr. – District Court Judge, District 26
  • The Honorable Gregory A. Weeks- Former Superior Court Judge
  • The Hon. Todd Williams – District Attorney, Judicial District 28
  • The Hon. James E. Williams, Jr.  – Public Defender, District 15B
  • The Honorable Jim Woodall – District Attorney, District 15B
  • The Honorable Eric Zogry – NC Juvenile Defender, Office of the Juvenile Defender