Establishment of Conviction Integrity Units (CIUs) With Innocence Commissions
WHEREAS, a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) is a division of the prosecutor's and/or district attorney's office that works to prevent, identify and correct false convictions. For the year 2015, there were 58 exonerations in the United States as a result of the work of CIUs; and
WHEREAS, in 2015 there were 24 CIUs in the United States, which is double the number from 2013 and quadruple the number in 2011; and
WHEREAS, almost 90% of CIU exonerations (134/151) occurred in four counties Harris, TX, Dallas, TX, Brooklyn, NY and Cook County, IL; and
WHEREAS, a CIU would allow convicted offenders with legitimate post-conviction claims of innocence to have their cases reviewed and reinvestigated, which would help to identify wrongful convictions; and
WHEREAS, this type of unit could help defendants seeking exonerations avert years of long litigation through cooperation; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of a CIU would save the defendant from years of enduring incarceration as well as save the States and Counties from paying out monies owed to the defendant as a result of wrongful conviction; and
WHEREAS, an Innocence Commission also needs to be established to govern the affairs of the CIU; and
WHEREAS, the increased establishment of CIUs across the nation will further the NAACP's efforts toward reform of the criminal justice system.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP units will encourage their county prosecutors/district attorney officers to establish a Conviction Integrity Unit and Innocence Commissions so that wrongfully convicted defendants, some currently serving life in prison with no parole for crimes they did not commit, will have an opportunity for exoneration.