'Serious' Effort Vowed On False Convictions

, New York Law Journal

As a lawyer representing criminal defendants, Theodore T. Jones Jr. said he was sure that people "occasionally" got convicted of crimes they did not commit. Now, the Court of Appeals judge is co-chairing a new state task force on wrongful convictions. He is convinced all participants in the criminal justice system recognize the high price the system pays for mistakenly convicting and imprisoning defendants. "There is absolutely no disagreement on the fact that one of the most horrendous results we can conjure up is to wrongfully convict a defendant," Judge Jones said in an interview yesterday. "Equally troubling is the fact that when that happens, the true perpetrator is still out there. If the public loses faith in the integrity of criminal convictions, then we have lost control of our entire system."

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