Conviction Review Bureau
In April, 2012, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman established the Conviction Review Bureau (CRB) in the New York Office of Attorney General (OAG), a first-of-its-kind statewide initiative to address issues related to wrongful convictions across New York State. Partnering with law enforcement agencies, the Bureau's mandate is to help New York's criminal justice system maximize its ability to convict the real perpetrators of crimes, while preventing innocent people from being penalized for crimes they did not commit.
There are numerous examples of District Attorneys successfully reviewing and reinvestigating cases; however, there may be instances in which it is helpful for an independent and specialized entity to enter the process.
Jurisdiction to reinvestigate a criminal conviction rests in the first instance with the office of the prosecutor who obtained the conviction -- most often a District Attorney. In many cases, however, a District Attorney's office may lack adequate staff to conduct such a review, or may believe that a conflict of interest exists. The OAG's Conviction Review Bureau offers its assistance to District Attorneys who seek help in performing an independent re-investigation. It is anticipated that these cases will be New York State Court convictions for serious felonies in which the claimant's other options are exhausted (eg, an Article 440 motion has not succeeded).
The CRB is available for referrals as resources allow, and on referral will conduct a review of the case in anticipation of potential litigation, with investigations led by the CRB Chief. In addition, the OAG continues to address claims of actual innocence in its own cases.
For further information about the Conviction Review Bureau, please call 518-474-3527.