News 06.04.09

NY District Attorney on the Need to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

A District attorney should have two goals, according to Janet DiFiore – keping the public safe and ensuring that fair and impartial justice is practiced in our courts. DiFiore, the District Attorney of New York’s Westchester County, will serve as a co-chair on the state’s new Justice Task Force, which is charged with examining the causes of wrongful conviction and recommending reforms to prevent injustice. She said yesterday in a statement that she looks forward to her role in working to prevent injustice.

As District Attorney of Westchester County, I have readily accepted my obligation to promote fairness and justice at every level of our system by ensuring that in every case we prosecute, we not only strive to convict the guilty, but also make certain that no one is wrongfully convicted for a crime that he or she did not commit.

In spite of all our efforts, our criminal justice system is not infallible.


Read yesterday’s statement from DiFiore here

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In 2007, DiFiore ordered a thorough study of the wrongful conviction of Jeffrey Deskovic, who was exonerated in 2006 after serving more than 15 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. The report found that systemic flaws were behind Deskovic’s wrongful conviction, as they are in many cases.

Read more and download the report here

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And New York lawmakers are considering a package of reforms right now to address help free the innocent statewide and improve laws that help prevent wrongful convictions. To learn more and email state leaders in support of these proposed measures,

click here

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