The Innocence Investigations Project addresses wrongful convictions by exonerating our direct appeal clients through post-conviction litigation and by working with the conviction review unit in the applicable District Attorney’s Office. We aim to identify clients who might benefit from an investigation of facts underlying the conviction, including facts that do not appear in the existing record. If our review and investigation support a reasonable basis to bring an actual innocence and/or wrongful conviction claim, we take all steps necessary to achieve vacatur of the judgment of conviction and dismissal of the charges.
Appellate Advocates has successfully obtained the exoneration of 5 clients.
There is no single explanation for why persons may be wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Contributing factors of wrongful convictions include the use of false confessions, misidentification of the accused by the complainant or eyewitnesses, the prosecution’s reliance on jailhouse informants who receive a benefit in exchange for testimony against the accused, ineffectiveness by a defense attorney, errors made by law enforcement officials, and prosecutorial misconduct. Unfortunately, wrongful convictions are a reality in New York’s criminal legal system.
The Innocence Investigations Project screens all direct appeal cases for potential wrongful convictions based on a variety of tell-tale factors to determine which warrant further investigation and review by our Director of Innocence Investigations, De Nice Powell.