The Plymouth County District Attorney Conviction Integrity Unit is dedicated to investigating and recommending necessary action in cases in which a claim of wrongful conviction or actual innocence has been brought to the attention of the District Attorney. When an erroneous conviction occurs the District Attorney is often the right person, and often the only person, who can take remedial action for the defendant and community.
The criminal justice system sets a high bar to conviction: a trial before a jury of members of the community, at which proof beyond a reasonable doubt must be established, based on reliable, credible evidence that is only admitted with judicial approval. Nonetheless, like all human undertakings and institutions, sometimes there are errors that require investigation, intervention and extraordinary relief.
Whether the claim of innocence or wrongful conviction is due to newly discovered evidence, such as cutting edge DNA testing on old cases, or due to mistaken identifications, or even mistakes by the court, civilian witnesses, forensic experts, defense counsel, prosecutors or the police, all such claims require careful review.
Claims of innocence and wrongful conviction are reviewed by the Chief Legal Counsel for Ethics, Integrity and Policy, assisted by other prosecutors and investigators. Such reviews are undertaken as cooperative efforts with defendants and defense counsel, in a spirit of reciprocity in the pursuit of justice.
Claims of innocence and wrongful conviction can be submitted at this link for further review: PlymouthDA.ConvictionIntegrity@State.Ma.Us