New Yorkers Challenging Wrongful Convictions

New York has the third highest number of wrongful convictions in the nation. Currently, the law makes it effectively impossible for innocent people who pleaded guilty and do not have the benefit of DNA evidence, to challenge their convictions in court. This prevents countless people with credible innocence claims from getting relief in court.

Additionally, law enforcement is legally allowed to use tactics such as lying in interrogations about the presence of all types of evidence which enables coerced — and false — confessions. This practice has had devastating consequences, accounting for 43 innocent New Yorkers that have been exonerated after falsely confessing to serious crimes — 80% being people of color. The case of the Exonerated Five is a prime example of how dangerous it is for law enforcement to use deceptive interrogation techniques.

  • S. 324A/A. 6570 would end the use of deception in interrogations in New York and help prevent wrongful convictions.
  • A. 98/S. 266, The Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act, would fix the law to enable an authentic legal pathway to exoneration. This bill would:
    • Allow people without the benefit of DNA evidence in their cases to get back into court to prove their innocence.
    • Provide a right to post-conviction discovery.
    • Establish a right to counsel for those with wrongful conviction claims.
  • A. 5891-B/S. 2800-B, The Youth Right to Remain Silent bill, requires that children are provided with legal counsel before they are permitted to waive their Constitutional right to remain silent. Because their brains are still developing, youth lack the capacity to fully appreciate the significance of the right to remain silent, and the repercussions of waiving that right. By requiring that a youth consult with an attorney prior to waiving their Miranda rights, this bill ensures that all youth–not just those who can afford a private attorney—will have the true benefit of their Constitutional right.

Please join us in supporting these critical bills in 2022 by signing up in the form above. 

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