The Innocence Project joins suit to keep oversight of district attorneys
Oct 15, 2019 11:39 pm
Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that The Innocence Project is defending a court challenge by New York's district attorneys, who say a law creating a commission to investigate their conduct is unconstitutional. "As a leading national advocate for the wrongly convicted dedicated to improving the criminal justice system, the Innocence Project has a compelling interest in ensuring that prosecutors are subject to meaningful, independent oversight," the group wrote in a memorandum filed Oct. 11 in state Supreme Court in Albany. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the bill he signed creating the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, "suffers from several flaws." And an analysis by the state attorney general's office said the law would likely not withstand a court challenge because of "constitutional defects." Cuomo says legislative amendments fixed the problems with the law, but the governor said he would not activate the commission until the legal challenge is resolved. "Prosecutors across the country and in New York state are subject to precious little oversight," The Innocence Project's memorandum says. "Some district attorney's offices in New York state do not even have formal rules of conduct or guidelines to investigate or discipline prosecutors who engage in unethical behavior." Read more about this story in the Times Union.