It is a priority of the District Attorney to ensure that all convictions were obtained lawfully and that all persons convicted of crimes are in fact guilty. For that reason, the District Attorney has established a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) to review plausible allegations of wrongful conviction based upon actual innocence or the existence of some other exceptional circumstance. This office will take appropriate action when necessary to ensure that justice is achieved.
How to Apply for Review:
In order to apply for review, complete and submit the Application and Certification form. An attorney or other person may assist with the application but the applicant must sign the Certification at the end of the form. Applications will be accepted ONLY from applicants applying on their own behalf or with the assistance of counsel. Review by the CIU is discretionary and conveys no entitlement to relief.
Submissions to the CIU must satisfy the following intake standards:
- The applicant must make a non-frivolous claim of actual innocence or claim some other exceptional circumstance; and
- Credible evidence of innocence or other exceptional circumstance that is capable of being evaluated must exist at the time of the application; and,
- The applicant must consent to being interviewed by this office concerning the conviction that is the subject of the application, to cooperate with this office's investigation, and to provide access to any evidence or other information concerning the conviction that is available to the applicant; and
- The applicant must not have any direct appeals, motions under Article 440 of the Criminal Procedure Law, or petitions for habeas corpus pending at the time of the application.
This office may consider applications not meeting all of these criteria in exceptional circumstances, at the District Attorney’s sole discretion, where required in the interests of justice.
You will be notified about whether your application has been accepted for review, rejected, or if additional information is required to make that determination. If your application is accepted for review, you may be contacted during that review to provide additional information. Upon completion of the investigation, the CIU will prepare recommendations for disposition of the application to the District Attorney. The District Attorney is vested with the responsibility of making all final decisions concerning the disposition of CIU investigations. You will be notified of the final disposition of your application.
Completed application forms may be submitted to the CIU electronically by email or by mail. The CIU will not provide updates concerning the status of an application.
Intake Email: Conviction.Integrity@erie.gov
Conviction Integrity Unit
25 Delaware Avenue, 7th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202