“Local attorney Donald Thompson, who has been involved in the reversal of several murder convictions in Monroe County, said New York is lagging behind other states by not mandating the videotaping of interrogations — which police sometimes do in Monroe County — and adjusting witness identification procedures to acknowledge the weaknesses of past processes.
‘Sometimes it’s not good to be one of the 13 colonies,’ he said. ‘We do things because we always have done them that way.’
Thompson represented Frank Sterling and Douglas Warney — two men freed after DNA testing proved they were innocent of murders — and prosecutors and judges often claimed a need for ‘finality’ as the two men unsuccessfully appealed their convictions multiple times. ‘The rule of finality,’ he said, ‘means it’s more important to be done than it is to be right.’
Instead, Thompson said, prosecutors should be willing to always look at new evidence of innocence with a fresh eye.
‘How many times are we going to look at it?’ he said. ‘How about, “Until we get it right.” ‘ ”
Read the entire Democrat and Chronicle Article here.