Marion County prosecutor plans conviction integrity unit

The Marion County prosecutor says he will establish a conviction integrity unit in early 2021 to correct wrongful convictions in Indiana’s most populous county.

Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced last week the unit will prevent, identify, and correct wrongful convictions by reviewing cases in the county, which is home to Indianapolis.

“The only person who benefits from a wrongful conviction is the person who committed the crime,” Mears said.

He said his office will become the first prosecutor’s office in Indiana to establish a conviction integrity unit.

The decision to develop the unit is in response to requests from the community and results reported from similar units in other jurisdictions, Mears said.

Earlier this year, the Hillsborough state attorney in Tampa, Florida, announced his conviction review unit had exonerated a man convicted in a 1983 murder and attempted rape based on newly discovered DNA evidence.

For more on the new conviction integrity unit, see the Dec. 23 edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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