New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his third annual State of the State address today in Albany calling on lawmakers to improve eyewitness identification procedures and to videotape interrogations in an effort to prevent wrongful convictions and strengthen the criminal justice system.
The Innocence Project, which has been calling for these reforms for years, applauds Governor Cuomo’s leadership. Read an excerpt from Gov. Cuomo’s address:
“We need to ensure fairness in the justice system. The problem is mistaken eyewitness identifications contribute to approximately 75% of the wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence. And false confessions contributed to approximately 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA. Remember, this is not a numbers game for prosecutors. It’s not the more convictions the better. A wrongful conviction protects no one. And you are still innocent until proven guilty in this system. And let’s make sure the system remembers that and the system provides that.
We proposed innocence protections in the justice system. We propose requiring blind administering of eyewitness photo IDs and videotaped confessions for suspects in violent crimes and related offences and sex offences. This will give us more certainty that the convictions we obtain are actually fair and justified.”
from the State of the State report
slides Governor Cuomo used during the presentation