“Conviction Integrity Units” – Foretelling the Future?

We’ve posted previously about our (my) high degree of skepticism regarding the actual integrity of, and motivations for, so-called “conviction integrity units” in prosecutors’ offices. Please see:

A Word About Conviction Integrity Units

Conviction Integrity Units – A Skeptic’s Perspective

In both of these articles we made note of the fact that the New Orleans District Attorney and the Innocence Project – New Orleans had agreed to establish a joint conviction integrity unit. This would be “ground breaking” for a prosecutor to team up with an innocence organization for this, because it would provide absolutely objective oversight of the CIU (which none of them have, because they are totally contained within the prosecutor’s office); and we said this will bear careful watching.

In the second of the above articles, we stated that when the conviction integrity units eventually start to be disbanded (which I believe they will), we will hear one of these reasons, or a combination of the two, as the justification:

1) We’ve fixed everything there was to fix, and we promise to behave ourselves in the future, so the CIU is no longer needed.

2) Budget constraints and the requirements of ongoing prosecutions force us to apply the resource devoted to the CIU to more urgent business.

Please see Mark Godsey’s “Quick Clicks” from Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 here for news that the project between the New Orleans District Attorney’s office and the Innocence Project – New Orleans to form a joint conviction integrity team has been abandoned. And the reason? Budget.

Hmmm. Really?

Final comment. The very existence of “conviction integrity units” begs the question – why? Because they can’t get it right the first time? But given that honest errors leading to a wrongful conviction may occur, leaving it to the prosecutors to correct their own mistakes and misdeeds is not the right way to do it. Having prosecutors oversee prosecutors is like having cops oversee cops, and we know how that works.


5 responses to ““Conviction Integrity Units” – Foretelling the Future?

  1. Excellent, informative article, that is needed for a clearer understanding of the CIU’s and its ramifications.

  2. Pingback: “Conviction Integrity Units” – Foretelling the Future? – The Colder Case Series

  3. Mr. Locke… thanks for continuing to follow the secret shame of America’s seriously flawed and corrupt legal system. We knew from the outset the so-called “integrity units” would not work for a number of reasons. The first being: what state agency is truly willing to police or capable of policing itself?! Ha! Uh… none! (As a matter of fact, one agent/agency lies… and the others swear to it.) And you are correct (again), as you indicated above, innocent (and even not-so-innocent American citizens) would not have been entrapped in these never-ending and harrowing nightmares had the states demonstrated “integrity” from the get-go. In addition, the states could not and do not handle their already voluminous, overwhelming cases to begin with (with integrity), which is exactly why these atrocities occur to begin with. Instead, the states and their agents/agencies find the easiest, most likely, convenient target; assign an already overworked, overwhelmed, inexperienced, unskilled, lazy, and/or incompetent public defender [or worse, a willing, duplicitous public ‘pretender’]; circumvent due process and violate as many other civil, constitutional, and human rights and laws as necessary to get the cases closed. As you know, their victims will likely be coerced into pleading “guilty” – including by their own attorney (public or private). If legitimate “integrity units” actually performed the required work and necessary investigations in the voluminous claims of innocence, etc., the states would be that much more hard pressed to push through and close their cases. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

    Who will stop the powerful, autonomous, self-serving, self-governing states from the relentless persecution and torture of even completely innocent American citizens and their families via the U.S. legal system — both civil and criminal parts.

    The good people of America have no recourse. We have no right to complain. Appeals are a joke (more self-serving, self-governance; upholding lies, etc.) And agencies… see above. Unwilling/unable to polices themselves and there are just way too many cases! (Why?! Tough on crime mumbo jumbo; too many new laws/overcriminalization; mandatory sentences; oh… and the best of all… prisons for profit… etc. etc. etc. Same kinds of travesties are occurring in the civil courts as well. Just ask any family who has had a children or children abducted legally by the courts and their “appointed” agents.)

    The corruption is rampant. We have an epidemic deserving of much more attention and remedy. Americans have been shut up and shut out. Unless one has extremely deep pockets to pay the astronomical demands of private lawyers (complicit and making fortunes off the backs and misery of others), we have no rights in the legal system. We are, in fact, the new American slaves to tyrants who own, operate, and oversee these shams and charades in the guise of administering justice throughout America.

    We have an international human rights crisis in America.

    If and when you have a moment, please learn about a Nation-wide campaign underway in America, which is greater momentum every day. Please review the campaign’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Opt.IN.USA/?fref=ts

    Thanks, again, Mr. Locke. Please stay on top of this. One day, hopefully, in the not too distant future, your efforts (our efforts) will pay off and we will see the release of thousands upon thousands of innocent Americans, as well as others who were harshly and excessively sentenced without just cause.

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