Pennsylvania adds muscle to reviewing convictions for errors

  • Marc Levy/The Associated Press

(Harrisburg) — Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement office is starting a conviction integrity unit to review past convictions for mistakes that might result in them being overturned.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Wednesday that the unit will be headed by Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser, the former chief public defender in Cambria County and former Somerset County District Attorney.

The unit is designed to provide county district attorneys with the resources to analyze past convictions.

Only Philadelphia has a unit devoted to reviewing convictions. Still, the idea could raise jurisdictional objections from county district attorneys.

The move comes as reformers have aggressively questioned Pennsylvania’s criminal justice practices.

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