Legal Aid Society

Projects, Units & Initiatives

Criminal Appeals Bureau

The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau (CAB), consisting of approximately 55 attorneys, two social workers, 12 paralegals and five support staff, is the largest provider services to low-income people in New York City who are challenging their criminal convictions on appeal or in other post-conviction proceedings.  CAB lawyers practice daily in the Appellate Divisions and Appellate Terms for the First and Second Departments.

As the long-term devastating impact of mass incarceration on our communities has come into sharper focus, CAB has labored to mitigate its worst effects.  CAB staff regularly assists clients as they ready themselves, many after long terms of incarceration, to meet the Parole Board.  The parole advocacy packages that CAB prepares require extensive record-gathering in connection with the underlying offense and the client’s institutional rehabilitative record as well as collaboration with mitigation and re-entry social work specialists, who work closely with clients and their families to ease reintegration into the community.

Our Impact

DA has lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for over 45 years.  DA and his wife of 39 years have four children—all born and living in the United States, and three of whom served, honorably, in the United States Military—and seven grandchildren.  DA and his wife play a daily and indispensable role in the support of their three veteran daughters and their families.  And DA’s own medical needs require that he remain in the United States.  For all those reasons, in 2015, federal immigration authorities administratively closed the removal proceedings against DA in an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  Yet in 2018, the Trump Administration, as it has done now in so many cases, reopened his removal proceedings without explanation.  Recognizing the gross unfairness of the federal action, and based on a pardon application submitted by CAB, Governor Cuomo granted pardons for DA’s three non-violent convictions, the most recent of which was more than two-decades-old.