Thursday, April 7, 2016
Statement from District Attorney Ramos regarding formation of Conviction Review Unit
Our record of only convicting the guilty is due to many factors. Primarily it exists because our prosecutors work tirelessly every day to “do the right thing” on every case. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that full and complete discovery is given to the defense on every case. We train on the unique and stringent ethical requirements for prosecutors and have imbued our entire office with a culture that places ethics above all else. Our county’s police agencies likewise put the highest value on conducting fair and ethical investigations.
However, as prosecutors, our duty to obtain justice never ends. Recent advances in technology and scientific evidence, such as DNA, could possibly cast doubt on some convictions. New witnesses or evidence may be discovered, years after a conviction, that could call into question a defendant’s guilt. It is important that we have a formal procedure to review these cases and determine whether an innocent person has been wrongfully convicted. For these reasons, I am pleased to announce that I have formed a Conviction Review Unit. The Conviction Review Unit will be responsible for reviewing qualifying claims that an innocent person was wrongfully convicted.
For more information on how to submit an application for review, visit http://www.sbcountyda.org/ProsecutingCriminals/ConvictionReviewUnit.aspx