L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey to unveil details on wrongful-conviction unit
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey will unveil details Monday about the creation of a unit dedicated to reviewing the integrity of convictions for people behind bars for serious or violent crimes.
In putting together such a team of veteran prosecutors, the county D.A.’s office is joining a small but growing number of prosecutorial agencies around the country devoting resources to identifying innocent prisoners.
In seeking the funds, Lacey’s office said it wanted to keep up with an increasing number of wrongful-conviction claims that have followed the advent of similar units around the country, a growing number of innocence projects and heightened publicity surrounding innocence claims, a county spokesman said.
Innocence project groups and others said the move would send a dramatic statement that the office is serious about reversing injustices and could spur the creation of similar units in smaller counties in California.
Although such units are still rare, Los Angeles would join more than 15 district attorney offices nationwide that have created such teams, including Dallas County, Brooklyn and Manhattan, N.Y., as well as the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. In California, district attorneys in Santa Clara, Ventura and Yolo counties have established similar units.
The proposal comes after a string of high-profile wrongful convictions.
Earlier this year, the city of Los Angeles agreed to pay more than $8 million to Obie Anthony, who was declared factually innocent after spending 17 years behind bars for a killing outside a brothel in South Los Angeles.
In October, a judge threw out the murder conviction of Susan Mellen, saying that she was wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years based on the word of a habitual liar and adding that “the criminal justice system failed.”
In 2013, another judge threw out Kash Delano Register’s conviction in the 1979 slaying of an elderly man in West Los Angeles.
All three cases were brought to court by innocence projects. In Mellen’s case, the district attorney’s office agreed to her release after its habeas corpus litigation team, which often opposes legal requests to throw out convictions, conducted an investigation.
OIP Exonerees Wiley Bridgeman and Kwame Ajamu Granted Additional $4.38 Million for Wrongful Imprisonment
The state has agreed to pay two Cleveland brothers wrongfully imprisoned for 37 and 25 years an additional $4.38 million for their time behind bars, the Ohio Court of Claims ruled Monday.
The court agreed to a settlement with Wiley Bridgeman and Kwame Ajamu (formerly Ronnie Bridgeman) for the time spent in prison for a murder they did not commit. Bridgeman, Ajamu, and Ricky Jackson had their death sentences commuted while in prison, and their convictions were overturned in late 2014 after the key witness in the case against them recanted his story. Read more.
Have you or a loved one been wrongfully jailed or incarcerated? You may be entitled to monetary compensation for being improperly accused and convicted. Now more than ever, a great emphasis has been placed on those who have been wrongfully convicted. We want to assist you in getting recourse for the loss of time with your family, friends and career. There have been recent settlements of millions of dollars for those that have been wrongfully convicted like you.
Please call The Merson Law firm for a free and confidential consultation. We will treat you with dignity, respect and discuss the best legal options for you and your family.
Original story found here.