On Monday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced that a pair of experienced attorneys will fulfill consultant roles for its recently established Conviction Integrity Unit, the first of its kind for a U.S. Attorney’s Office. You can read more about the selections here and about the inception of the groundbreaking new review unit here.
Both Jeffrey D. Robinson and Kristine Hamann will work as independent consultants for the Conviction Integrity Unit, which was established in September 2014. Their roles stand in stark contrast to Cook County’s conviction integrity review, which is housed entirely within the State’s Attorney’s office with no opportunity for independent oversight from qualified individuals outside the office.
Mr. Robinson works as senior counsel at Lewis Baach, while Ms. Hamaan is a visiting fellow at the U.S. Department of of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Both individuals are said to offer a “fresh perspective” in reviewing defendants’ cases – violent felonies, specifically – to identify wrongful convictions and prevent miscarriages of justice going forward.
Life After Innocence is encouraged by the burgeoning trend of conviction review systems cropping up across the United States, especially those in Cook and Lake Counties, to enable cooperation and shared goals between parties on two sides of the law generally perceived by the public as oppositional. If you would like to read more about conviction integrity units from some of the leading pioneers in American cities, and how prosecutors can work with defense attorneys or innocence organizations to resolve wrongful convictions, check out our Fall story regarding Northwestern’s Conference on Conviction Integrity here.