Unjust Conviction and Actual Innocence
Prosecution is the process by which the state brings criminal charges against an individual or individuals. Every prosecution must be founded upon probable cause that those arrested and prosecuted of a crime committed the crime in question. Such is the legal requirement for ensuring justice in a society.
The New York Court of Claims Act makes a financial remedy available to those who have been unjustly convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and imprisoned. To state a claim for unjust conviction and imprisonment, the convicted person must establish by documentary proof that they were convicted of one or more felonies or misdemeanors against the state, sentenced to a term of imprisonment for which they served all or any part of the sentence and that they have been pardoned upon the ground of innocence, or the conviction was reversed or vacated and the accusatory instrument dismissed, or, if a new trial was ordered, that they were either found not guilty at the new trial or were not retried and the accusatory instrument dismissed.
Claims of actual innocence require a convicted person to seek federal habeas relief and establish that he/she is factually innocent of the convicted crime. By claiming actual innocence, the convicted person is not asserting that the prosecution failed to prove that he/she committed the crime, but rather that he was not actually the offender and that the State tried and convicted the wrong person. This is an “extraordinarily high” burden that requires the petitioner to prove that no reasonable juror would convict, taking into consideration both newly discovered evidence not available at trial as well as all previous evidence that was introduced and led to the conviction.
Victims of unjust conviction and imprisonment need to act quickly to protect their rights. Held and Hines’ experienced attorneys are devoted to the pursuit of justice and we will do everything in our power to ensure your best interests are protected and rights vindicated. We will work tirelessly to pursue justice for you and your loved ones to the fullest extent of the law.
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