From USA TODAY
Brooklyn DA faces tough conviction reviews
BROOKLYN, N.Y.— The district attorney’s office here has caught the nation’s attention with a striking number of exonerations — seven people in six months — and a mountain of the country’s toughest wrongful conviction claims to review. Since 2007, prosecutors have started conviction integrity units dedicated to making sure the right people were found guilty of crimes. In many cases, exonerations have involved misidentifications and new DNA testing. However, in Brooklyn the problems are more complicated because the majority of wrongful conviction claims being reviewed deal with potential police misconduct. Since January, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has expanded his office’s Conviction Review Unit and budgeted $1.1 million a year to investigate cases of potential wrongful convictions. Now, more and more units are starting and Brooklyn’s investigations are being closely watched.
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