LUMBERTON — A Lumberton attorney has been appointed as an alternate member to the State Innocence Inquiry Commission, which investigates post-conviction claims of innocence.
Diane Surgeon, founder of The Elder Law Center-Surgeon Law Firm, was appointed by North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker for the three-year term on the commission, according to a statement.
“Having had the opportunity to serve as a criminal defense attorney for a number of years, I truly appreciate the importance and value of the work of the Innocence Inquiry Commission,” Surgeon said in the statement. “I am honored to have been appointed by our chief justice and I promise to do my very best at all times.”
The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission is a state agency that was established in August 2006 by the General Assembly.
Surgeon served for 17 years as an assistant public defender for Robeson County. In 2009, she founded The Elder Law Center-Surgeon Law Firm to assist and counsel seniors on their care and estate planning.
The commission, made up of eight members, provides an “independent and balance truth-seeking forum for credible post conviction claims of innocence” in North Carolina.
Members, appointed by the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the chief judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, include a Superior Court judge, a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney, a victim advocate, a member of the public, a sheriff and two discretionary members.