AG Targeting Convictions
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the establishment of a Conviction Review Bureau in the New York Office of Attorney General (OAG), a first-ofits kind statewide initiative to address issues related to wrongful convictions across New York State. Partnering with law enforcement across the state, Schneiderman said the bureau will work to ensure that New York’s justice system maximizes its ability to convict the real perpetrators of crimes, while preventing innocent people from being penalized for crimes they did not commit. “There is only one person who wins when the wrong person is convicted of a crime: the real perpetrator, who remains free to commit more crimes. For victims, their families, and any of us who could suffer the nightmare of being wrongly accused, it is imperative that we do everything possible to maximize accuracy, justice, and reliability in our justice system,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “As a result, my office will be working with District Attorneys across the state to address compelling claims of innocence, and I will conduct a top-to-bottom review of my office’s investigatory and prosecutorial procedures, and adapt them as needed to ensure reliability.”
Schneiderman emphasized that there are numerous examples of District Attorneys successfully reviewing and reinvestigating cases, perhaps most famously the Central Park jogger case in New York County. However, there may be instances in which it is helpful for an independent and specialized entity to enter the process. To address this criminal justice imperative, Attorney General Schneiderman today announced that his Conviction Review Bureau will review Potential Wrongful Conviction Cases. The Conviction Review Bureau will work with D.A.’s offices to identify cases where the involvement of the Conviction Review Bureau may be of use.
The OAG will be available for referrals from District Attorneys as resources allow,.