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City of Philadelphia

Conviction Review Unit (CRU)

Staffed with dedicated Assistant District Attorneys, support staff and investigators, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office's Conviction Review Unit (CRU) investigates and reviews convicted offenders’ legitimate claims of innocence. In addition to reviewing cases, the unit makes recommendations about ways the office can operate more efficiently, effectively and adopt nationally-recognized best practices.

All requests to the CRU must be submitted in writing by the petitioner using the CRU Submission and Consent Forms. Requests for review will not be accepted by third parties including friends and family members. If a petitioner is represented by counsel, the submission must come from his or her attorney. Submissions will first be reviewed by the following criteria before the unit conducts an in-depth review:

1. The conviction must have been in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (First Judicial District),
2. The petitioner must be a living person,
3. There must be a claim of actual innocence (i.e. not a legal issue),
4. Credible evidence of innocence must exist, and
5. The claim must not be frivolous.

Petitioners will be notified of the status of their submissions by the CRU as soon as possible.

In an effort to conduct an open, independent and transparent review of claims, the CRU will publish annual reports and seek to work cooperatively with petitioners’ attorneys.