Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty has just announced that his office will be creating a unit that will investigate claims of wrongful convictions. In a recent article featured on Cleveland.com, Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney Ian N. Friedman is interviewed about this new unit.
According to the news story, the county prosecutor's actions mirror a trend that is occurring in cities and metropolitan areas across the nation. Such units require prosecutors to work together with convicted felons and defense lawyers in order to determine which cases resulted in unjust convictions.
In the article, Attorney Friedman said that he is pleased that the county prosecutor is acknowledging the fact that there are innocent people who are being forced to carry out prison sentences. He explained that as a human process, the criminal justice system is subject to error, despite the good intentions of many people who are working within the system. It is this potential error that makes the new conviction integrity unit necessary, he said.
"I believe that wrongful convictions occur more than we want to think. I couldn't imagine many things much worse," Attorney Friedman was quoted saying in the article.
He continued by stating the following: "It (the unit) will not only serve to the benefit of the wrongfully convicted but also to the victims and the community. For every innocent person sitting in prison, we need to be worried about the real perpetrator still walking amongst us."
Mr. Friedman noted that while skepticism will always exist between prosecutors and defense lawyers, these legal professionals are all ultimately seeking the right outcome.
The Plain Dealer reported that the unit will accept applications from lawyers, or from the convicts themselves. In order to qualify for review, the claims of wrongful conviction must be backed by new and credible evidence rather than the argument that procedural or legal errors occurred. Attorney County Prosecutor Jose A. Torres is responsible for heading the new unit. The applications for review by the unit are available on the website of the county prosecutor.
Attorney Friedman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is regularly interviewed in the media for his legal insight. He is a former President of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Furthermore, Mr. Friedman has been ranked on numerous occasions as a leading attorney within his state and even in the nation, such as through his recognition by Super Lawyers® Magazine, The National Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, etc.
Contact Ian N. Friedman if you would like a Cleveland criminal defense attorney to provide you with high-quality legal advocacy!