Bureau is responsible for partnering with law enforcement agencies to provide assistance to prevent innocent people from being penalized for crimes they did not commit.
New York, NY - April 17, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the appointment of Gail Heatherly to lead the Office of the Attorney General’s Conviction Review Bureau. Created in 2012, the Bureau is responsible for partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state to provide assistance in seeking to prevent innocent people from being penalized for crimes they did not commit. Attorney General Schneiderman also announced the formation of a new Conviction Review Committee within his office to ensure the actions of the Bureau are coordinated across all relevant parts of the Office of the Attorney General.
“Those who are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit deserve to have an advocate who will fight for justice, both for the wrongly accused and for the victims of the original crime,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The only person who benefits when the wrong person is convicted of a crime is the real criminal, who remains free to commit more crimes. With her experience as a prosecutor, Gail is uniquely suited to work with her counterparts in other law enforcement agencies, however possible, to assist in addressing compelling claims of innocence."
Heatherly brings decades of experience in criminal prosecutions. In addition to serving as head of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, she spent 14 years as a senior prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she also served a homicide assistant, domestic violence supervisor and a member of the sex crimes prosecution unit.
In addition to appointing Heatherly to lead the Bureau, Attorney General Schneiderman also announced the creation of a new Conviction Review Committee that will be responsible for coordinating the actions of the Bureau across the different offices within the Attorney General’s office. The Committee, which will meet regularly to review matters being addressed by the Bureau, will include Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan, and Chief of Criminal Appeals & Deputy Solicitor General for Criminal Matters Nikki Kowalski.