January 14, 2016: Governor’s Advocacy of Wrongful Conviction Reform Wins Praise of the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for supporting measures that will make our streets safer while protecting innocent individuals from wrongful conviction.
“Wrongful convictions take a tremendous toll on our society,” said State Bar President David P. Miranda of Albany (Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti).
“The New York State Bar Association joins with the District Attorney’s Association of the State of New York and the Innocence Project in urging the enactment of a bill proposed by Governor Cuomo that would require the recording of custodial interrogations and change of identification procedures in lineups to better assure accurate identification of suspects.
“These two critical steps of the Governor’s proposal would promote fairness and effectiveness in the criminal justice system, as they would both help to prevent wrongful convictions and protect law enforcement officials who conduct interrogations and lineups,” Miranda said.
On June 2, 2015, the State Bar Association, District Attorneys Association and the Innocence Project announced they had crafted proposed legislation that incorporates their long-sought agreement on wrongful conviction. It calls for recording of custodial interrogations of suspects in certain serious crimes and reforming procedures used when a victim or witness is asked to identify a suspect.
A 2009 report by the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions cited false confessions and misidentifications by witnesses as major factors contributing to wrongful convictions.
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs