News 06.04.15

Coalition Formed to Propose Wrongful Convictions Bill in New York

The New York State Bar Association and the District Attorneys Association of New York came together Tuesday with the Innocence Project to propose that New York State adopt practices recommended to reduce the risk of wrongful convictions due to mistaken identification or false confessions.

 

The proposed bill would require investigators to treat the statements of witnesses and suspects with care, the way they would any other evidence which is subject to contamination, according to the

New York Times

.  

Photo lineups would be administered by officers who are not involved in the investigation of the case, to rule out the possibility that the officers could send inadvertent cues to the witness when a suspect’s photo is shown. The bill would also require police to videotape interrogations of suspects in major felony cases, a practice which innocence advocates have tried for many years to get adopted statewide. The

New York Times

reports that confessions have long been recorded by New York police, but the new law would require police to also capture what exactly led up to the confession, an essential piece when evaluating the credibility of a confession.

“Misidentification and questionable or unreliable statements or confessions are two of the leading causes of wrongful conviction,” Frank A. Sedita III, the Erie County district attorney and the president of the state’s District Attorneys Association, told the

New York Times

. “What the bill does is simultaneously promote the protection of the innocent and the just prosecution of the guilty. And when you can do both at once, that enhances the integrity of the criminal justice system.”


Learn more about the proposed bill here

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  1. John Rinaldi says:

    What about false a false conviction where a celebrity lied to create a stalking charge?

Thanks for your comment

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