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Brooklyn DA to probe allegations of unlawful convictions

NEW YORK - Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced the appointment of three attorneys to assist in evaluating the cases involving allegations of unlawful convictions.  The three attorneys, Bernard Nussbaum, Jennifer Rodgers and Gary Villanueva, will consult with the Conviction Review Unit (“CRU”), which has recently been expanded and re-organized.  More information on the CRU will be forthcoming.

 “I wish to thank these distinguished members of the bar for volunteering their services in this pursuit of justice,” District Attorney Thompson said,   “Their combined experience and uncompromising integrity will prove invaluable in my office’s efforts to meticulously examine available evidence in order to right wrongs or confirm convictions.  My ultimate goal is to insure that the people of Brooklyn have faith in the fairness of our criminal justice system.”

The panel will meet on an as needed basis with the district attorney’s office and review findings of individual cases that have been investigated by the CRU.  They will advise on a range of issues, including whether a conviction should stand, needs additional review or should possibly be overturned.  The CRU will consist of experienced prosecutors, investigators and support staff tasked with the responsibility of conducting a thorough reinvestigation of cases identified as having a colorable claim of actual innocence or gross violations of a defendant’s constitutional rights.