PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — District Attorney Larry Krasner on Tuesday released the findings of a new accountability report that exonerated 20 people who were wrongfully convicted by previous Philadelphia prosecutors. Several of the people exonerated from wrongful convictions attended Tuesday’s event.
“Going wherever the truth lies is in that report so I thank the authors, I thank you for the courage in today’s time to take a stance, to honor your oath and go against the status quo of that is old, lock them up and throw away the key no matter what,” Terrance Lewis, who was exonerated from a wrongful conviction, said.READ MORE: 'Had A Smile A Mile Wide': Family Remembers 8-Year-Old Girl Killed In Westville Crash That Left 3 Others Dead
The report was compiled by the first-ever Convictions Integrity Unit meant to increase transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system.READ MORE: National Night Out Aims To Improve Police-Community Relations During Violent Year In Philadelphia
“Since I persuaded Patricia Cummings to come to the Philly DAO, she and her Conviction Integrity Unit team have made a reality of the prosecutor’s obligation to do justice moving forward and to do justice by correcting injustice in the past. The CIU’s work to date is historic and its broader significance cannot be overstated where trust between law enforcement and communities is broken. Fostering community trust in law enforcement requires that DA and police administrations hold their own accountable for misconduct and for crimes,” Krasner said. “Having met and gotten to know wrongfully convicted men like Chester Hollman, Terrance Lewis, Anthony Wright, and so many others, I know the human potential that was lost. That lost potential was caused by an era of criminal justice culture that was reactionary, racist, and de-humanizing in its politics and in its press; a culture that had little regard for facts, science, or truth. Even an adversarial system cannot be adversarial to the truth. And we cannot forget that victims and survivors were profoundly harmed by these wrongful convictions as well. Every innocent person in jail meant the guilty one went free. We are finding our way out of that murky past and this report lights the way.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police Learning Effective, Impactful Responses For Dealing With Mental Health Cases
To read the full report, click here.