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Center for Prosecutor Integrity Surveys Rise of Conviction Integrity Units
WASHINGTON / December 4, 2014 — Since 2007, state and federal prosecutors have established 16 Conviction Integrity Units to assure the accuracy of convictions obtained by their offices, according to a White Paper released today by the Maryland-based Center for Prosecutor Integrity.
Prosecuting attorneys in districts from Santa Clara County, California to Washington, D.C. began establishing the units after DNA evidence led to a rising number of exonerations.
The White Paper, titled “Conviction Integrity Units: Vanguard of Criminal Justice Reform,” outlines the structure and administration of the 16 conviction integrity units now existing in the U.S. The report reveals that the nine units established by the end of 2013 accomplished nearly 7,000 case reviews, resulting in 61 exonerations.
Gina Lauterio, Program Director of the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, said the report is the first to reveal how the number and effectiveness of the units has grown in recent years. “I hope that all District Attorneys in the country will consider what’s being done in these 16 districts and adopt similar practices.”
Lauterio noted the nonprofit Center encourages scholarship on the causes of wrongful convictions and efforts to minimize them. “We commend the growing number of prosecutors who are now devoting resources to reexamine questionable cases.”
The report is available on the Center’s website: http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Conviction-Integrity-Units.pdf
The Center for Prosecutor Integrity is working to promote ethical prosecutor conduct, restore the presumption of innocence, and end wrongful convictions: www.prosecutorintegrity.org