Cook County prosecutor to revamp wrongful-convictions unit

Cook County prosecutor to revamp wrongful-convictions unit

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago area's top prosecutor says she's revamping a branch of her office that investigates possible wrongful convictions.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx tells the Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/2mswZMy) that addressing the county's bad reputation in handling them is top priority.

The county has improved since 2012 when then-State's Attorney Anita Alvarez formed a Conviction Integrity Unit. Last year, it helped exonerate 11 people.

The National Registry of Exonerations says that's the second-highest exoneration total among U.S. counties.

In revamping, Foxx is looking to a New York office considered a national model.

Foxx says her office will review convictions stemming from arrests by a former officer accused of shaking down gang members.

Alvarez was criticized for not aggressively targeting misconduct, which was an issue in most county exoneration cases since 1989.

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