NY1 - Legal Aid Society Criticizes Queens DA for Not Creating Conviction Review Unit
FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017

Following a New York Law Journal article last week on the lack of a conviction integrity unit at the Queens District Attorney’s office, Tim Rountree and David Crow spoke to NY1 about why these units are important and why they should be a fundamental part of every DA’s office.




NY1
Legal Aid Society Criticizes Queens DA for Not Creating Conviction Review Unit
March 6, 2017

The Queens District Attorney's Office is the only one in the city that does not have a separate unit to review and possibly overturn convictions.

The Staten Island D.A. recently announced plans to launch a conviction review unit. The move would leave Queens as the only district attorney’s office in the city without one.

Some legal organizations are critical of D.A. Richard Brown's choice to not form such a unit in the borough.

“Ten or 15 percent of convictions in high profile cases have some kind of problem with them,” said David Crow, an attorney with the Criminal Appeals Unit at the Legal Aid Society. “So it is not just a matter of a one-in-a-thousand kind of a situation that you can just fix it and move on. It is a continuing problem; it needs an independent review by people who do not have a stake in defending the prior conviction.”

In response, the district attorney’s office sent NY1 a letter from D.A. Brown to the New York Law Journal. In it, Brown defends his current policy by saying in part, “It is my view that that responsibility must be shared by everyone in my office - in particular, my senior staff - and not delegated to one unit and/or a handful of assistants.”