After its announcement and creation in early 2018, the Conviction Integrity Review has been contacted by many individuals seeking guidance and assistance. Here is a year-end look at the Review’s numbers:
• 204 people contacted the CIR in 2018
• 68 people were denied further review because they did not meet the criteria. The rest received petitions.
• 60 people submitted formal petitions.
• 14 investigations have been initiated.
• 6 investigations resulted in a denial.
Conviction Integrity Review
It is a priority of the State Attorney’s Office to maintain public trust and confidence while seeking justice for the citizens who live within the Fourth Judicial Circuit. This office is committed to the administration of equal and fair justice. Part of this commitment is a willingness to consider credible information that a conviction that was legally obtained may nonetheless be inaccurate.
In 2018, in recognition of our continuing post-conviction ethical obligations, the State Attorney’s Office established the Conviction Integrity Review Division (“CIR”). The CIR reviews and investigates plausible post-conviction claims of actual innocence by those whose prosecutions originated from the Fourth Judicial Circuit.
To have your case reviewed by the CIR:
- You must have been convicted of a felony in the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau counties).
- You must present a claim of actual innocence (you did not commit or participate in the crime charged).
- The claim must be supported by information or evidence not previously litigated before the original trier of fact (jury or bench trial).
- The claim must be capable of being investigated and resolved, and if substantiated, would bear directly on the issue of innocence.
- The direct appeal has become final, the mandate has issued, and there is no pending litigation.
The CIR will not review claims solely alleging judicial errors, such as unfavorable court rulings or procedural errors, those alleging lawful sentences are excessive/harsh, or those seeking to re-litigate affirmative defenses, evidence, or information previously considered by a prior finder of fact such as a jury or judge.
Please note that a submission of your petition does not guarantee investigation of your claim. It also does not toll the time to file an appeal or any post-conviction motions that may be appropriate.
To initiate a review please download the petition, complete it in full and:
- Mail it, along with all supporting documentation, to:
State Attorney’s Office
Conviction Integrity Review
311 W. Monroe St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202OR3. Submit it electronically using the button at the end of the petition.Download the form here: Petition
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What kind of case is being reviewed by the Conviction Integrity Review division?
A: The CIR is reviewing and investigating felony convictions where the convicted individual is claiming actual innocence from having committed or participated in the crime charged. The claim must be capable of being substantiated by credible, factual information/evidence not previously considered by the original fact finder (either jury or judge).
Q: Can I apply for a review of my case if I entered a plea?
A: Yes, the CIR will review and investigate claims of actual innocence that arise out of guilty verdicts at trial and guilty or no contest pleas. Guilty pleas may be given a heightened level of scrutiny.
Q: Will all claims of actual innocence be reviewed?
A: The CIR will investigate claims of actual innocence where there is credible evidence to support the claim. All petitions go through an initial review process. If the petition meets the initial criteria, then an investigation may be initiated.
Q: What kind of evidence will be required to initiate an investigation of a case?
A: The evidence required to trigger a review by the CIR is evidence that was not previously litigated or considered by the original finder of fact (either jury or judge). If you previously presented your claim or argument to a jury, but disagree with the jury verdict, this claim will not be investigated absent new information or evidence that was not previously presented to the jury. The CIR is unable to review claims of procedural error, dissatisfaction with court rulings in the case, or claims seeking to re-litigate affirmative defenses, evidence, or information that was previously presented to the jury. You may have other legal remedies to address these matters of law and we encourage you to consult with an attorney.
Q: I am concerned about the sentence that was imposed in my, or my family member’s, case. Will that be reviewed by the CIR?
A: The CIR will not review lawful sentences. You may have other legal remedies to address sentencing issues and we encourage you to consult with an attorney.
Q: How quickly will claims be processed?
A: Once the CIR receives a petition, it will communicate with you to let you know that your paperwork has been received. The CIR will next communicate with you whether or not an investigation will be opened in your case. We will make every effort to communicate to you about the status of your case in a timely fashion. Please keep in mind the length of this process will depend on many factors, including the age of the case, the complexity of the case, and the information available.
Q: What happens if the CIR is unable to investigate my case?
A: The CIR will send a letter to the petitioner or legal representative indicating that the case will not be investigated. There may be various reasons why the case is not investigated, including, but not limited to: not enough information provided on the petition form, the petitioner is not making a claim of actual innocence, the ability to establish credible evidence to support the claim was not evident from the initial review. You may resubmit your petition if you have additional information that supports your claim of innocence.
Q: Will I be exonerated if the CIR agrees to investigate my case?
A: The decision to review and investigate a claim does not imply acceptance of the validity of the claim of innocence. Decisions regarding whether to review a claim, how the claim will be investigated and the resolution of the claim is at the sole discretion of the State Attorney.
Q: How do I submit a claim?
A: Please fill out the petition available on this page and email or mail it to the address listed. If you are represented by an attorney, please consult your attorney prior to submitting a petition. Please keep in mind that if you are represented by an attorney, the CIR will only communicate with your attorney about your case.
Q: What if I have questions not answered here?
A: The State Attorney’s Office and the CIR cannot provide legal advice or act as your legal representative. Should you have further questions, we encourage you to seek the assistance of an attorney. You may have additional legal remedies that would not be addressed by the CIR, so we encourage you to consult with an attorney who specializes in post-conviction litigation.