The state attorney general today announced the creation of a Conviction Review Unit and a Cold Case Network in a bid to enhance the public’s confidence in New Jersey’s criminal justice system.
Superior Court Judge Carolyn Murray has resigned from the bench to run he conviction review unit. Murray is a former Essex County prosecutor and assistant U.S. Attorney.
Grewal says that the unit will be partly funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant – the first in the U.S. to be based out of a state attorney general’s office.
“Today’s dual announcements are based on a simple premise: that those who are innocent should not remain in prison, and those who are guilty should not remain on the streets,” Grewal said. “These two statewide initiatives will ensure that those who break the law are held accountable, no matter how long ago the crime occurred, and provide further proof that you can promote public safety while also strengthening the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system.”
Last year, Grewal had asked former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Virginia Long to head a working group to determine how the state might review certain criminal convictions.
“The United States has the best system of justice in the world, and I have enormous admiration for the dedicated men and women who work to get it right every day. But the system has never been perfect, and there is always room for improvement,” said Fishman. “Today, Attorney General Grewal has reaffirmed that New Jersey will continue to be a leader in the never-ending quest for fairness in our criminal justice system.Grewal April 2019 Cold Case conviction review