Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Conviction Review Unit has expanded its criteria for cases eligible for evaluation to include any felony conviction in which the defendant remains in custody, the DA’s office said Wednesday.
Previously, wrongful conviction claims were only eligible for review if they involved serious and violent felony convictions.
“The expanded criteria will give more people the opportunity to have their claims of actual innocence heard by my office,” Lacey said.
The Conviction Review Unit was established in 2015 to evaluate claims of factual innocence – based on newly discovered evidence – submitted by the person convicted of the crime or anyone who has the inmate’s written permission. The process does not require the filing of any formal court documents.
Since its inception, the unit has received 1,747 wrongful conviction claims. Two convictions have been vacated and one sentence reduced. Currently, there are 25 pending claims in various stages of the review process.
Requests to have a conviction reviewed must be submitted in writing to the District Attorney’s Office.
A claim form may be found at http://da.lacounty.gov.