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Prosecutor's office looking to undo wrongful convictions in Marion County

Exonerated man applauds efforts
Posted at 11:51 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 08:12:18-05

INDIANAPOLIS — In a push to fix past wrongs, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office is working on creating a Conviction Integrity Unit.

Beginning this year, it will take a closer look at cases prosecuted in Marion County that may have ended with wrongful convictions. Roosevelt Glenn, Sr. knows first-hand how measures like this can changes lives.

"If I could shake his (Prosecutor Ryan Mears) hand right now, I would," Glenn said. "To hear about a prosecutor that wants to reach out, he needs to be supported if he wants to reach out and help people that could possibly be in prison for crimes they didn't commit."

Glenn was wrongfully convicted in 1993 of a brutal rape in Hammond, Indiana. He spent nearly 17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

"For the system to be able to take me and Mr. Pinkins (Glenn's Co-Defendant) and convict us of raping a woman we never even met, it just blew my mind," Glenn said. "Now I look back at the different people in my life who've told me about the system. I always thought they were exaggerating, but now for my own self I see. This is real life. This really happens and I'm a victim of this justice system."

Glenn was helped in big part by IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law's Wrongful Conviction Clinic. He's written a book about the ordeal and often speaks to students who could someday fight injustices like the one he experienced. That's why Glenn says it's important for those in power, like prosecutors, to want to correct wrongful convictions.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office is still working on the roll-out of the Conviction Integrity Unit. They plan to have it up and running in the near future.