Unjust, or wrongful, convictions — that is, when people are convicted of crimes for which they are in fact innocent — has become one of the headline stories of America’s criminal justice system. Recently, several highly publicized cases of wrongful imprisonment have captivated our attention –David Ranta, Roger Logan, Jonathan Fleming, Derrick Hamilton, and Anthonio Yarbrough, to name just a few. Each of these men served were released from prison after it was determined that they had been wrongfully imprisoned. At the time of release, almost all had been incarcerated for at least 20 years.
The New York State Court of Claims Act § 8-b — also known as The Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act of 1984 — allows wrongfully convicted defendants who have served all or part of their sentence to seek compensation from the State if certain requirements have been met. This course will introduce you to the procedural devices by which convictions are challenged, including direct appeal, federal habeas corpus petitions, and post-judgment motions. It will also acquaint you with the litigation of unjust conviction cases in New York, providing an overview of the legal landscape of these claims, with emphasis on the numerous procedural and substantive pitfalls facing lawyers who litigate these challenging cases.
3 MCLE Credits (2 Professional Practice; 1 Skills)
Karen Schlossberg, Esq. — Assistant District Attorney N.Y. County D.A.’s Office
Seth Steed, Esq. — Appeals Bureau, Legal Aid Society
Ameer Benno, Esq. — Principal of Benno & Associates P.C.
Kings County Criminal Bar Association