St. Louis County to review possible wrongful convictions

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell is establishing a new division to review cases of possible wrongful convictions.

Bell, a Democrat who was elected in November, announced plans for his Conviction and Incident Review Unit on Tuesday. A national search is beginning for the director of the division, which will answer only to Bell.

In addition to wrongful convictions, the division will review cases of officer-involved shootings and allegations of police misconduct.

Bell's office cites data showing that more than 2,400 people have been exonerated after wrongful convictions in the U.S. over the past three decades, including 50 in Missouri. He says it is "imperative to critically review cases where credible challenges are raised."

Bell says more than 30 other prosecutors across the U.S. have established similar programs.

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