George Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, created a Conviction Review Unit in 2019 to investigate legitimate claims that a convicted person is actually innocent.
“While we have no evidence that these cases exist in our jurisdiction, I know that the criminal justice system was created, and is run by, human beings. And like anything created and run by human beings, the criminal justice system is capable of making mistakes,” Brauchler said. “If there is actual, real evidence that a convicted defendant did not commit the crime for which he or she is incarcerated, there is now a vehicle to examine those claims of innocence.”
The Conviction Review Unit (CRU) is that vehicle.
Volunteers retired from the criminal justice system will review claims of innocence submitted by defendants convicted at trial in the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties) who are incarcerated or under community supervision. There must be credible evidence of innocence, not a claim based on a legal issue.
Once a case is accepted, the CRU will review trial and case materials and any new evidence. A re-investigation may be conducted. If the CRU finds a valid claim of actual innocence, the case will be presented to District Attorney Brauchler.
If he agrees with the CRU recommendation, District Attorney Brauchler will determine what further action can and should be taken.
Details of the CRU policy:
submissions, questions: CRUClaim@da18.state.co.us
District Attorney George Brauchler speaks to the Arapahoe County Bar Association about the Conviction Review Unit