Include a mailing address for the CRU to contact the convicted person or their attorney. . Last spring, several defense and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the citys five district attorneys and the special narcotics prosecutor, identifying 20 police officers who had been convicted of crimes and two others who had engaged in work-related misconduct. Sims trial lasted five days. Legal Aid Society Wrongful Conviction Unit New York, NY. Another 78 cases on the prosecutors list arose from two detectives, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to charges that they released an 18-year-old woman from custody in exchange for sexual favors. In fact, Hale told the jury during closing arguments: Now you heard the summation of the defense Mr. Tims [Sim defense attorney] wants you to believe that Julius Graves is the perpetrator of this crime.. It is free and automatic. His son began to sob. Hes now 46. In April 2021, Mr. Gonzalez asked the court to dismiss 90 convictions involving Mr. Franco. The Exploitation Intervention Project works with trafficking survivors to help them vacate criminal convictions related to their trafficking and seal the records of those arrests. All of the other officers were also convicted of crimes that involved abuse of power, prosecutors said mostly during undercover work and street level policing. Earlier this year, Graves told the Daily News that Sims killed the victim. The group Families of the Wrongfully Convicted, along with lawyers from the Legal Aid Society, argued that the Conviction Review Unit established in 2014 under the late Brooklyn DA Kenneth . Riley also believes that there are many others who deserve the second chance that he received. Under New Yorks 2021 legalization law, several old and new penal law marijuana convictions will be automatically expunged. The hundreds of convictions thrown out in the Bronx involved Mr. Franco. A few months before Graves testified, the Brooklyn DAs office filed a Violation of Probation and scheduled a hearing on the matter for May 10, 1999, the same day he testified at Sims trial. The expungements are the result of a campaign by the Legal Aid Society, the Exoneration Project, and other organizations focused on overturning wrongful convictions, which asked prosecutors across the city in May to investigate cases involving 22 NYPD officers who were convicted of crimes at some point in their careers. The truth is gonna come out eventually.. Sims and his attorneys allege that police and prosecutors, including Hale, illegally suppressed evidence of Sims innocence and pressured witnessesincluding Gravesinto making false statements. But Graves 2002 statement said that he did not see who shot the victim and did not know who did, but that police had threatened to charge him with Chens murder unless he testified against Sims. Queens DA Melinda Katz Moves To Expunge 60 Convictions Linked To Corrupt NYPD Officers, We rely on your support to make local news available to all, Overdose prevention centers save lives but remain in legal limbo, as NYC moves toward expansion, Overdoses of two men leaving Manhattan gay bars last spring found to be homicides, A man is dead after an encounter with police in New Jersey, Suspect arrested in connection with NJ State Trooper shot in leg. Update (9/4): This article previously stated that the Brooklyn CRU exonerated seven people during DA Gonzalezs current tenure. Help us raise awareness about the causes, costs, and remedies of wrongful conviction each year on October 2. The Clinic frequently works with the Criminal Trials, Appeals and Case Closed units of The Legal Aid Society. | translate }}, {{ "Why should I sign up for an account?" but did not discuss the year that she supervised the Conviction Review Unit before the Bureau was created. Practicing as a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. James Grigson was called upon to evaluate people charged with capital murder crimes. Many of these convictions were secured in the late 1980s and early 90s, when misplaced and biased prosecutorial and police responses to substance abuse, poverty, and racial tension within communities, led to a surge of questionable arrests and convictions. New York, NY 10013. The new head of Brooklyns Conviction Review Unit should be someone with no prior connection to the office, in order to avoid any conflicts of loyalty or unconscious bias, Felber told New York Focus in a statement. Any of the other testimony [] wouldnt really matter unless I can get [Graves].. The Legal Aid Society 4.3. Her proof: an industry-commissioned study that she refuses to release. After taking office in 2014, Thompson expanded the Conviction Review Unit, . Read More. The article has been updated to account for the one exoneration produced in that year. For questions about registration, need-based scholarship, or for more information about this years conference email Jessica Goldthwaite The Legal Aid Societys DNA Unit. Wrongful Convictions, Appeals, Clemency & Sealing, Empowering People with Disability & Health Issues, Lifting the Voices of Children & Adolescents, Supporting Survivors of Violence & Navigating Divorce. Not only was Anthonys life taken and he was ripped from his family, but the victim never got justice, Keisha told New York Focus. Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island Trial Offices, the Homicide Defense Task Force Unit, Wrongful Conviction Unit, Parole Revocation Unit, and the Criminal Appeals Bureau. Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Hale had a record of alleged prosecutorial misconduct dating back to the 1990s. Then, he was unmasked as a quack. During trial, a state witness testified that police had coerced him into implicating Campos, that he had later recanted his statement to Hale, and that he had failed a lie detector test. The Legal Aid Society is built upon one simple but powerful belief that no New Yorker should be denied the right to equal justice. 5 Legal arrangements have come into existence with the need for protecting the human honour. Despite his obligation to correct false testimony by witnesses, Hale did not challenge Graves claims. New York, NY 10038. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez is searching for a replacement for Hale, and defenders are urging him to hire someone from outside the DAs office to lead the unit. | translate}}, {{ "Select a category below to get started" | translate }}, {{ "Total resources added across time" | translate }}, {{ "Number of resources viewed in the past year" | translate }}, {{ "Community contributors" | translate }}, {{ "Want some help? Each of the NYC DA offices are currently reinvestigating our cases. If you have a maximum of two convictions (one of which is a felony) that are more than 10 years old, you may be eligible to apply for sealing and representation in your application. If you were convicted of a criminal offense as a result of having been sex or labor trafficked, you may be eligible to have your record sealed. Before the murder, he said, I had everything going for me., I remember looking forward to coming home because my sons would hear me in a hallway, he said. And that cannot be done by the District Attorneys Office., A May 2021 rally called on the Conviction Review Unit to overturn Sims conviction and expedite other pending cases | Josmar Trujillo. | translate }}, {{ "Is One Degree free? Supervising Attorney - Wrongful Conviction Unit at The Legal Aid Society Sidwell Friends High School, Northwestern University, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law View profile View profile badges Sims told him he couldnt think like that. Elizabeth Felber, supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society's Wrongful Conviction Unit, said she hopes the next head of the unit, Hale's replacement, comes from the defense community, as has been the practice in other jurisdictions in New York, such as . One witness for the prosecution, who was under arrest for an unrelated attempted murder, repeatedly told police he had no information on Coopers alleged involvement in the murder, according to Coopers civil complaint. Experienced Litigation Support Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the legal services sector. Phone. Under a recent New York State law (CPL 160.59), some people may be able to get their criminal convictions sealed. Course: Educational Leadership and Management (8605) Level: B.Ed (2.5 Years) Semester: Autumn, 2022 Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi evaluated the concept of justice in two ways: the positive justice, which is to give the rightholder his due; and the negative justice, which is to discipline the wrongful. | The Legal Aid Society is the nation's oldest and largest provider of legal services to the indigent. This year, our 8th Questioning Forensics is titled A juror, an expert & an algorithm walk into a courtroom: Miscommunication in forensics and will focus on misleading testimony and the role of human factors in forensics. Two additional witnesses did not identify Cooper from a photo array. Or email: Wrongful Convictions LAS in the News 03.03.23. A new head of the unit, Sims and his attorneys hope, will give his case a fair review. They dont want to hurt their friends or make their friends look bad. So, I appeared the next day and did whatever it was they wanted.. Find job postings near you and 1-click apply! From 2014 until Thompsons death in the fall of 2016, Brooklyns unit exonerated 21 people. Nobody is currently incarcerated as a result of these convictions, and none of the 13 officers involved in the cases remain on the force. The CRU will contact the convicted . Ideally, the new head should have criminal defense experience, to be able to bring a fresh perspective to the unit.. Juvenile Rights Practice Entry Level Staff Attorney- Fall 2023. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. It will be held in-person in NYC on March 23 and 24 at the City of New York Law School in Queens, New York (CUNY). The Wrongful Conviction Unit continues to grow in size and outreach since its inception in 2019. Defense attorneys point to Hales control of the unit as a key reason for the slow pace of exonerations, New York Focus and The Appeal. The Innocence Network is an coalition of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed. The total is expected to rise to 496. SCOTUS Rejects J&J's Appeal of $302M Deceptive Marketing Penalty. Students in the Defenders Clinic advocate for transformative justice in the face of mass incarceration. At the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, Sherry concentrates her practice on Criminal Defense. The site contains instructions and forms for applying for commutations and pardons. Since 2015, the DNA Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City has held an annual, two-day forensic conference for defense attorneys called Questioning Forensics. Visit website. New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca area) $73,868 - $78,030 a year. Sims also says he told all his appellate attorneys that he saw Graves commit the crime; his one surviving appellate attorney confirmed this to his current counsel. Students from the clinic have teamed up on our cases and the forensic scientists routinely consult on forensic science issues. The average condemned person spends six-and-a-half years on Death Row as their case . Graves only agreed to testify after his fiance was arrested, according to a statement he gave in 2002, which he has since recanted. In 2016, Sims wrote a letter to the Brooklyn DAs conviction review unit, or CRU, asking them to investigate his case. Conviction review units have exonerated more than 500 people from across the country. Hale was the trial prosecutor. Click here to learn more and register. He only implicated Cooper after police told him his charges would be dropped if he cooperated. . He served more than 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Apparently the quickest way to corral the populace into *smart cities* with relentless surveillance is to Clemency Freeing the innocent and preventing wrongful convictions worldwide. Despite his obligation to correct false testimony by witnesses, Hale did not challenge Graves claims. 2023 The Legal Aid Society. Wrongful Conviction Clinic. Sims has since remarried, to his junior high girlfriend, Keisha Sims. Alfonzo Riley, Case Handler (left), Elizabeth Felber, Supervising Attorney (center), Thomas McCall, Investigator (right), members of The Legal Aid Society Wrongful Conviction Unit. Maintaining his innocence, he was retried and convicted again to life in prison. Record Sealing Identifying and understanding the causes of wrongful convictions is critical to maintaining the integrity of our justice system. For more than two decades, Sims has tried to overturn his conviction in the appellate courts, without success. The concerns over his cases sparked the broader review in Brooklyn, as prosecutors began to examine past cases handled by other officers who were similarly charged and convicted of misconduct that was directly related to their jobs. Later, when he tried to recant, investigators with the DAs office told him that the DA would pursue the attempted murder charges if he disavowed his earlier statement. While working to seek exoneration of our clients, we have successfully advocated for the release of incarcerated clients who have gone before the parole board but maintained their innocence. When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated, the original crime victim may experience feelings of guilt, fear, helplessness, devastation and depression. Had we known about these officers, we would never have brought these cases.. The Legal Aid Society can assist with wrongful convictions, applications for commutation and pardon, and the sealing of past criminal records. Civil law is the law that controls non-criminal issues.Civil lawsuits generally do not result in jail time or "punishment." Instead, the outcome of a civil case is usually an order from a judge that one person pay another person money to make up for harm that they caused, handling a family law (custody, divorce, etc.) Last fall, the Queens district attorney moved to dismiss 60 such cases. Visit Our Campus Discovering our campus is a breeze, whether you're a high-schooler thinking about attending DU, an admitted student learning your way around, or a teacher or counselor setting up a group visit. Mr. Danese was convicted of disorderly conduct in 2009 after he arrested a teenage boy on Halloween and abandoned him half-naked in a desolate Staten Island marsh. About 100 convictions were allowed to stand, prosecutors said, after the office determined that other corroborating evidence existed aside from the officers testimony. Donate. The office spent 10 months reviewing every Brooklyn conviction in which the 13 former officers were involved, flagging for dismissal cases in which they served as the primary witnesses. he did not see who shot the victim and did not know who did. Sims request to the CRU did not present any of the new claims that his attorneys have included in the current petition to vacate Sims conviction, including evidence of Hales misconduct and eyewitness testimony that Graves was the shooter. The Legal Aid Society is grateful and honored to partner with CUNY School of Law in this endeavor, and we look forward to making more of a difference in the lives of New Yorkers and communities that we serve.. His then-wife, Kisha Sims, said she expected that he would be acquitted and had been planning a coming home party for him. . 199 Water Street Hochul Projects Horse Racing Renaissance, Declines to Share Evidence. Research shows challenges to wrongful convictions have extremely low success rates; even defendants who were later exonerated by DNA evidence had their appeals rejected in more than 90 percent of cases, one study. Conference themes in the past have included how to litigate a forensic DNA case, the PCAST report, and the NIST Mixture Foundation Review. The 378 cases mostly low-level drug and traffic offenses relied on the work of 13 police officers who were later convicted of crimes. Each summer the WCU will host two CUNY Law students who will receive paid public interest internships. The site contains instructions and forms for applying for commutations and pardons. Historically, the parole boards routinely denied parole to people who maintained their innocence because they were not accepting responsibility for crimes they did not commit. Browse Resources . There are many more men and women incarcerated in New York who I believe deserve clemency and who have moved toward transforming their lives from whatever moment or mistake that led to their incarceration, Riley said. BY: Elizabeth Dickinson | DATE: Jan 04, 2021, BY: Naz Ahmad, Acting Director of CLEAR | DATE: Feb 01, 2023, Delivering Justice: CUNY Law and The Legal Aid Society Team Up to Reduce Incarceration through Post-conviction Testing of DNA Evidence. At the time of trial, he hadnt checked in with his probation officer for close to three years. | Brooklyn DA. The Wrongful Conviction Unit continues to grow in size and outreach since its inception in 2019. Vacating and dismissing these cases is both constitutionally required and necessary to ensure public confidence in our justice system.. Sims with his sons, Antoine and Anthony Jr., in 2015 | Keisha Sims. Involved and accomplished at a range of pro-bono initiatives.Skilled in Legal Writing, Advocacy Appeals, Legal research Constitutional Law, Civil law, Criminal Law, Human rights law, Terrorism law, Evidence law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
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