The Legal Aid Society praised New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg decision to vacate convictions 316 cases involving discredited New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers, as reported by the New York Daily News.
The action was set in motion by a letter sent in May of 2021 by Legal Aid, together with The Exoneration Project and other defender and civil rights organizations, that identified 22 officers whose cases were in need of review due to past convictions associated with their law enforcement duties. In November of 2022, DA Bragg vacated an additional 188 convictions related to unreliable officers.
“We applaud District Attorney Alvin Bragg for taking further action to vacate convictions involving discredited NYPD officers,” said Elizabeth Felber, Supervising Attorney of the Wrongful Conviction Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “While we hope that this moment delivers some justice and closure to the New Yorkers impacted by these tactics, the sad reality is that many were forced to suffer incarceration, hefty legal fees, loss of employment, housing instability, severed access to critical benefits and other collateral consequences.”
Legal Aid continues to call on all of the City’s district attorneys to follow suit and examine cases where each of these officers played an essential role and to commit to regular and transparent review of cases involving police officers with credibility issues.
“The same lens used on our clients charged with criminal conduct must be applied to those in law enforcement,” said Felber. “Anything less will erode the public’s trust in the criminal legal system to hold those accountable for egregious acts of misconduct.”
Last Updated: 6 June 2023
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