Conviction Integrity Unit

Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby Sarah » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:17 pm ... onvictions ... ase?zc_p=1

I thought this was great. The article mentions a Conviction Integrity Unit that evaluates claims of innocence.

Good for them. This is a great step.

UTICA — Here are some steps the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office has already taken to prevent wrongful convictions after Steven Barnes was exonerated in 2008:

* Video recording suspect interrogations to eliminate any question over coerced confessions, as well as eyewitness procedures to monitor whether any officers suggest witnesses select specific suspects out of photo lineups.

* Review all legitimate claims of prosecutorial misconduct within the DA’s Office and take appropriate action, whether that be some form of personnel punishment or addressing any issues that may contribute to misunderstandings in court.

* Turn over all evidence and witness statements to a defense attorney at least a week before trial instead of waiting until the day of trial. The only time such statements will be withheld until a trial starts is if such disclosures would put a witness’ life in danger.

* Like prior DAs Barry Donalty and Michael Arcuri, McNamara has all evidence in homicide cases kept in custody until a defendant dies or is released. This allows evidence to be tested years later if questions arise.

* Prosecutors now check items off a checklist to make sure all exculpatory evidence is disclosed to defense attorneys that might go to a defendant’s favor.

* Over about the past year, a new Conviction Integrity Unit at the DA's Office has been evaluating cases where convicted defendants are persistent in their claims of innocence from prison. The DA's Office is currently reviewing one Utica double homicide case from 1994 that has raised compelling questions.
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Re: Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby Numbers » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:39 pm

Some thoughts on fixing the system, including a committee to monitor prosecutors, by Rodney Roberts, an exoneree:

TCR: Do you have thoughts on how you could fix some of the issues that left you trapped?

RR: There needs to be an arbitration-like process. A third-party need to be involved, not just the public defendant and the prosecuting officer (for plea agreements).Because right now, you have one agency that’s overwhelmingly financed and resourced against another agency that’s not. That’s a David-and-Goliath scenario. A third party can oversee the evidence and (make sure) the deal is fair and the defendant is making this plea agreement in good faith, before it gets to the judge.

There also needs to be an oversight committee to monitor the prosecutors, so that they can be held accountable for when they do acts of (grievous) behavior like withholding evidence or purposely prosecuting someone based on false police reports.
Until that’s done, you’re going to continue to see innocent people put in jail, you’re going to continue to see the system broken, because the one person who has the most power in the courtroom is the prosecutor – even sometimes over the judge who has limited discretion.

Source: ... aking-a-mi
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Re: Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby Numbers » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:07 am ... about.aspx

See the link to the following article:

Bexar County Conviction Integrity Unit Draws Praise

The San Antonio Express News profiles the Bexar County Conviction Integrity Unit's chief prosecutor, Jay Brandon, and the "seismic cultural shift" in a few Texas counties that are now focusing on righting wrongful convictions.
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Re: Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby Numbers » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:43 pm

LA County's new wrongful conviction unit flooded with hundreds of innocence claims ... looded-wi/

"The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s new wrongful conviction unit has been bombarded with cases in the first nine months as 730 people convicted in Los Angeles have come forward to claim they're innocent.

Of those, D.A. Jackie Lacey told KPCC, at least one case is now being formally investigated, but none has been brought back to court.
So far only about a third of the cases have even had a preliminary review. Attorneys submitting the claims say that's a slow pace.

"I think the DA's heart is absolutely in the right place, I think the problem has been getting the unit up and going and understanding how these decisions will be made," said Loyola Law Professor Laurie Levenson, founder of the university's Project for the Innocent.
en Lynch, Assistant Head Deputy for the Post-Conviction Litigation and Discovery Unit said they have reviewed claims of various types of evidence that cast doubt on a conviction.

“We’re reviewing types of evidence in which we can obtain DNA from in a variety of cases, we’re looking at cases in which there’s an argument the science has changed and therefore the conviction is no longer valid, specifically in arson cases and shaken baby syndrome cases," he said."
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Re: Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby B. Peixoto Family » Tue May 03, 2016 6:06 pm

Every county and every state needs a Conviction Integrity Unit. Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson is leading by example and I pray that others will follow suit. They are few and far between because people do not want to self-assess. They may have to admit they were wrong which makes it about them and not the potentially innocent person sitting in prison.
"There is no justice in the courts, only law"
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Wrongfully convicted Iraq War vet released after 11 years an

Postby reideq » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:02 pm

The Los Angeles Conviction Review Unit announced in June that they had reopened a murder investigation and no longer had confidence in the original conviction. It's a truly amazing story. ... story.html

But he was let out of prison with the clothes on his back and $4.00 to his name, so he needs our help just for basic short-term necessities.

After serving 11 years for a murder he did not commit, Raymond Jennings was released from prison on June 23rd, 2016, on the recommendation of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. An investigation revealed new evidence that prompted the DA’s office to admit that “the people no longer have confidence in the conviction based upon what we feel is third-party culpability.” Ray sat through three trials despite no physical evidence ever linking him to the crime – no DNA, no gunshot residue, fibers, hairs, or traces of anything to implicate him. There was no murder weapon found, no witness testimony against him, and no motive. But after two hung juries, the third trial was moved back to the community where the crime occurred (and where Ray’s name had been dragged through the mud by the media).
The prosecutor told the jury that Ray should be presumed guilty unless he could prove his innocence, because he was the only person at the scene of the crime. But the opposite was true – Ray was not the only person present, and should have been presumed innocent until his guilt could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet police declined to investigate the other people in the lot, focusing instead on fabricating a dubious story based entirely on circumstantial evidence.
While his release is great cause for joy, it starts what will be a very difficult transition back to everyday life. Ray has no resources right now – no income or family in CA to stay with. He’s relying on the kindness of strangers for food, clothing, and place to live. The State has not yet agreed to give him compensation for the time we wrongfully spent in prison.
Ray should never have been arrested, he never should have been charged, and he never should have been convicted. Ray’s wrongful conviction shattered his life. Without some support, he won’t be able to pick up the pieces. He just wants to move back to North Carolina, where we can care for his 71-year-old mother and support his five children. Now that the DA’s office has admitted their terrible mistake, Ray isn’t seeking fame or fortune. He just wants to quietly move on with his life. But he can’t do it alone. He needs our help.

Again, to donate to Ray please visit Any donation, no matter how small, will be you helping an innocent man get back on his feet.
For more information and for documents regarding the case, you can visit
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Re: Conviction Integrity Unit

Postby Numbers » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:41 pm


This Article examines the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry
Commission in its first decade of operation. The Commission,
which was created in 2006 by the North Carolina General
Assembly, is unique in the nation for its structure and charge to
investigate and find cases of factual innocence among convicted
felons. This Article examines the seven cases handled by the
Commission where innocence has been found. In them, nine men
have been freed, each after serving decades in prison, in murder
and rape cases that the evidence developed by the Commission
showed they did not commit. The Commission has demonstrated
that its general inquisitorial model with broad access to evidence,
investigative tenacity and accumulated expertise, and neutrality
provide important benefits in finding and documenting evidence
of innocence.
These seven cases provide fascinating examples of mistakes in the
initial investigation and dogged tunnel vision that focused on
finding incriminating evidence to convict the incorrectly selected
prime suspect(s). The cases exhibit an abundance of false
statements by informers and erroneous tips by reward seekers,
erroneous forensic evidence, false confessions, and mistaken
eyewitness identifications. The Commission has enjoyed
cooperation from law enforcement and prosecutors, but it has
also had to overcome resistance from officials defending earlier
flawed investigations and prosecutions. In these seven cases, the
process succeeded.
The examination of these cases and the Commission’s processes
show an important and successful new model for rectifying the
systemic errors that evade correction through ordinary
adversarial procedures and ultimately produce wrongful
convictions. The Commission’s successes and the lessons learned
from its operation deserve examination by other jurisdictions
dealing with the persistent failures of our criminal justice system
to avoid convicting and incarcerating defendants who are
factually innocent.

* © 2016 Robert P. Mosteller.
** J. Dickson Phillips Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North
Carolina School of Law. I wish to thank Executive Director Lindsey Guice Smith and
Associate Director Sharon Stellato of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission
for assistance with research and comments on an earlier draft, former Executive Director Kendra Montgomery-Blinn for help in the research, Christine Mumma for her information and insights, Rich Rosen for his advice, Daniel Mosteller for his comments, and Kirstin Gardner and Tyler Buckner for research assistance.
Found at: ... about.aspx

The full text article is 141 pages long, excluding the abstract and table of contents.
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