Alvarez creates unit to review wrongful convictions cases

February 2, 2012 1:59:58 PM PST
A newly created unit within the Cook County State's Attorney's Office aims to review and investigate criminal cases involving questionable or wrongful convictions.

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the formation of the "conviction integrity unit" at the city club of Chicago's luncheon lecture series.

Alvarez has assigned assistant state's attorneys to look at those cases specifically.

"And it takes awhile," said Alvarez. "It's not something that could be done in a matter of weeks. It's not that we don't have the experience of looking at post-conviction cases, we have. Obviously, we've been doing it for years. But this is just, we feel, a better way to just centralize everything."

As for cameras in the courtroom, Alvarez told attendees she has serious reservations about them because she says people in court act differently when they know they're on camera. She also says many issues need to be resolved before they are implemented.