New York Prosecutor Kenneth Thompson Is Hoping to Right Some Wrongs by Reviewing 90 Disputed Convictions

FILE- In this May 6, 2014 file photo, Robert Hill, center, smiles as he is escorted into Brooklyn Supreme Court in New York. Hill and his half-brothers Alvena Jennette and Darryl Austin were exonerated in a decades-old conviction investigated by retired homicide detective Louis Scarcella, who has had some of his tactics have come into question. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit is currently re-examining more than cases that Scarcella worked on. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE- In this May 6, 2014 file photo, Robert Hill, center, smiles as he is escorted into Brooklyn Supreme Court in New York. Hill and his half-brothers Alvena Jennette and Darryl Austin were exonerated in a decades-old conviction investigated by retired homicide detective Louis Scarcella, who has had some of his tactics have come into question. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit is currently re-examining more than cases that Scarcella worked on. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A New York City prosecutor has embarked on one of the country’s most ambitious efforts to review the murder cases of defendants who claim they were wrongly convicted.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s review unit is re-examining about 90 mostly homicide cases from the 1980s and 1990s. Nearly 60 have links to one detective.

Other prosecutors’ offices also have launched conviction review projects. But exoneration experts say few, if any, have tackled such a large and open-ended review of cases, all at once. They date to an era when New York’s murder rate was soaring and the legal system was stretched to the limit.

Brooklyn prosecutors have persuaded judges to throw out six convictions so far this year. More dismissals are expected, but prosecutors say the process can be complex.

Source: The AP

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