Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
The Queens County District Attorney’s Office—under my leadership over these past almost 26 years—is committed to doing everything in its power to prevent wrongful convictions and to set them aside when they are, unfortunately, found to have occurred.
My views—and my commitment—are more fully set forth in the annexed article dated Oct. 5, 2010, which is based upon remarks I delivered at the New York State Judicial Institute in White Plains on Oct. 28, 2003.
I believe that it is the responsibility of everyone in my office to prevent wrongful convictions and that should a claim be raised that someone has been wrongfully convicted or is being wrongfully prosecuted to promptly and thoroughly investigate that claim to ensure that justice is done. It is my view that that responsibility must be shared by everyone in my office—”in particular, my senior staff”—and not delegated to one unit and/or a handful of assistants. The course that we have followed has both consistently prevented wrongful convictions in the first place and dealt with those situations where a wrongful conviction, regrettably, has occurred.
So to most accurately answer the question so frequently posed to my office—whether we have a conviction review unit? The answer is “yes.” It consists of every man and woman in the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Richard A. Brown
The writer is the Queens District Attorney