An investigative report released in New York on Thursday, has detailed 25 wrongful convictions by The Kings County District Attorney’s office, which have resulted in persons spending 426 combined years behind bars.
Al Jazeera says the report which is titled “426 Years: An Examination of 25 Wrongful Convictions in Brooklyn, New York” was released in conjunction with the Wilmer Hale law firm and the Innocence Project, signalling the first time a US District attorney has conducted a comprehensive review of their office’s wrongful convictions. The report came amid echoing calls by numerous stakeholder groups across the US for racial equality.
Al Jazeera says that the 25 wrongful convictions came from across 20 cases and involve mostly black men. Many argue that their findings highlight the significant racial disparity in wrongful convictions since of the 25, only one was white.
The charges of the 25 included burglary, arson, rape, kidnapping, robbery and murder in various degrees.
The CRU has recommended that their convictions be vacated as many were unsupported – and in some instances were directly contradicted by physical or testimonial evidence.
The persons whose convictions have been recommended for overturning will need to engage a judge for a final ruling. If the judge rules in favour, their cases will be sealed from public view and their records will be cleared of the charges.