June 14, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, Mariah@vocal-ny.org
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS DISMISSAL OF WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS TIED TO CONVICTED NYPD OFFICERS; CALLS ON ASSEMBLY TO PASS CHALLENGING WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS ACT
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg Dismissed Over 300 Cases Brought by NYPD Officers Convicted of Crimes Related to Their Work
NYS Assembly Will Come Back Into Session to Discuss Remaining Legislation Including the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act
NEW YORK — In response to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s dismissal of 316 convictions brought by NYPD officers charged with crimes that violated New Yorkers’ right to due process, VOCAL-NY released this statement, attributable to Eileen Maher, a leader with the Civil Rights Union:
“Manhattan DA Bragg’s dismissal of these charges is long overdue. It is the district attorney’s responsibility to hold police officers accountable for violating New Yorkers’ right to due process and bringing bogus charges that uproot their lives. These convictions have separated people from their families, negatively impacted their health and employment, and have harmed communities at large.
The wrongful convictions we know of are just the tip of the iceberg and we cannot rely on prosecutors to be the gatekeepers of who gets justice and whose case is ignored. We need all hands on deck. For example, the Assembly must pass the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act next week and bring it to the Governor’s desk.”
This session, the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act (S215/A2878) was passed by committees in both chambers, and received a Senate floor vote. Although the session was scheduled to end in the first week of June, Speaker Heastie has indicated that Assemblymembers will return to Albany to finish passing legislation, including the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act.
In New York and across the country, many innocent people plead guilty because they are coerced and face harsher penalties if they elect to go to trial. Nationally, 97 percent of criminal cases are resolved through guilty pleas and 1 in 4 wrongfully convicted Americans who were later exonerated pleaded guilty.