Brooklyn, NY — Prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York City are now reviewing at least 90 cases that may be wrongful convictions. Even worse, 57 of those cases involve the same former detective, NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella.
But according to USA Today, Scarcella’s cases are not the only cases in question. In the past 6 months, seven people have been exonerated after being once convicted by the district attorney’s office, and the evidence is pointing towards potential police misconduct.
$1 million budgeted to investigate wrongful conviction cases
Since January of this year, the current district attorney Kenneth Thompson has expanded his office’s Conviction Review Unit and has even budgeted more than $1 million a year to investigate cases of potential wrongful convictions. He is also ensuring that investigations are being more closely monitored.
Reportedly, Thompson’s office is first reviewing wrongful conviction claims made by people who are still in prison serving time. Other claims made by people who have already been released from prison or never went to prison will be considered last. Sadly, such investigations can take years to complete and can be very difficult when evidence is lost and/or witnesses have died.
But not just Brooklyn, Chicago too!
The problem though is not just happening in one city. It’s also happening nearly 800 miles away in Chicago! Anita Alvarez, the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois, has already reviewed 143 potentially wrongful conviction cases and of those, nine people were exonerated.