At Tuesday’s State of the Judiciary Address, New York’s top judge, Jonathan Lippman argued that instituting safeguards against wrongful convictions should be among legislators’ top priorities, reported The New York Times.
Judge Lippman called for the inclusion of videotaped criminal interrogations as a way to reduce false confessions and prevent wrongful convictions—legislation that he believes should be included while considering expanding New York’s DNA database.
“This is a grand opportunity to put together legislation that really directly impacts what I do believe is a stain on the justice system,” Judge Lippman said after his speech. He stopped short of saying a DNA expansion bill must include protections against wrongful convictions.
“There could be nothing more horrible than an innocent person being convicted of a crime while the perpetrator is free to commit more crimes,” he said.
He also called for changes to the way eyewitness identifications were presented as evidence and proposed the creation of a youth court that would treat 16- and 17-year-olds convicted of nonviolent crimes as juveniles.
Read more about
New York wrongful convictions cases
and the reforms that the Innocence Project advocates.