Today, San Diego District attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced the creation of a formal Conviction Review Unit. The unit, named for the late George “Woody” Clarke, will be staffed by two full-time attorneys from the office. The unit will screen cases submitted by the public, including defense attorneys, the media, families, and inmates. CIP Director Justin Brooks spoke at the conference and praised Bonnie for formalizing the process.
“I am thrilled that Bonnie Dumanis has committed to a conviction integrity unit. My office has had a long-term relationship with her office based on cooperation and mutual respect. That relationship has led to the release of two innocent men, Uriah Courtney and Kenneth Marsh, both who were wrongfully convicted and both who were released due to the joint efforts of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and the California Innocence Project,” said Justin. “No one wins when an innocent person is in prison. Bonnie Dumanis should be applauded for her commitment to righting these wrongs. Every district attorney’s office in the state should have a conviction integrity unit and there should be more cooperation in reopening old cases where there is evidence a wrongful conviction occurred.”
CIP has exonerated two clients through cooperation with the San Diego District Attorney’s office – Uriah Courtney and Kenneth Marsh – prior to the formalization of the unit today. CIP will continue to bring cases to the DA’s office for review.
The unit is currently reviewing about 10 cases. New cases can be submitted directly through the District Attorney’s website.