Innocence Project Calls for Policy Reforms in Wake of Landmark Report on 25 Wrongful Convictions in Brooklyn

On July 9, 2020 the Kings County District Attorney’s Office released a landmark report examining how and why the KCDA’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) in Brooklyn, New York, agreed to exonerate 25 wrongly convicted people in a five-year period (between 2014-2019).

These 25 wrongly convicted persons served a staggering 426 years in prison before their exonerations. And virtually all of them — 24 out of 25 — were Black and/or Latinx. They served an average of over 17 years in prison; the one white exoneree, a victim of a politically motivated election fraud prosecution, served no prison time. The report also finds that the evidence police gathered against many of these exonerees was clearly flawed from the outset — raising obvious questions about why so many Brooklyn citizens of color were prosecuted at all, and why none of the system’s actors stepped in to halt these prosecutions or rectify them for decades.

The report forthrightly addresses the grievous errors – including outright misconduct in a number of cases — by both police and prosecutors that tainted the vast majority of these cases. 

For more information, please visit the Innocence Project blog here.