California considers possible wrongful conviction

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that it will investigate criminal cases statewide to look for possible wrongful convictions, looking for new evidence and prosecutorial actions. promised to investigate in prison.

Bonta said the post-conviction justice division within the California Department of Justice has “wide discretion” to investigate wrongful or improper convictions. He said the unit will partner with local district attorneys. He said local prosecutors did not have what he called a “conviction integrity unit.” He said he would pay particular attention to the incident.

Bonta said, “We cannot kneel and blindly defend convictions whenever we are unable to defend them because they are innocent due to innocence, error, or excessive conviction.

Prosecutors have historically never tried to overturn convictions secured by their own offices. However, technological advances in DNA testing and other forensic evidence have brought much new evidence on old cases, raising questions about convictions.

Newkirk Center for Science and Society at the University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan School of Law, and Michigan State University School of Law. The project has recorded 3,381 exonerations since 1989. website.

State and local prosecutors across the country, including Minnesota and New York, have established internal review units to evaluate this evidence. In California, Contra He has similar departments with Costa County and Sacramento County prosecutors.

In San Francisco, the district attorney’s acquittal committee spent 18 months investigating the conviction of Joaquin Syria, who was sentenced to life in prison for the 1990 shooting of Felix Bastarrica.judgement Overturned Syrian convictions last year After the district attorney’s office uncovered new witnesses and evidence of a “series of errors” in the way the case was handled.

Greg Totten, CEO of the California Association of District Attorneys, said such cases were “very rare, but very troubling.” ‘s internal review unit, resulting in two high-profile acquittals during his tenure.

“When we look at these things as prosecutors and recognize the grave responsibility we have to ensure that individuals accused of crimes are duly prosecuted and given a just sentence, it is You really have to deal with it,” he said.

Totten said the District Attorneys Association “wholeheartedly” supported Bonta’s investigation and that it would be “largely accepted” by local prosecutors. said they only have one or two people, pointing out that they do not have the resources to independently conduct these types of research. California considers possible wrongful conviction

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