People who believe they were wrongfully convicted in either Orange or Osceola County will be able to have their cases reviewed by the office of State Attorney Aramis Ayala, spokesperson Eryka Washington said on Thursday.
To request a review, one need only fill out an application on the state attorney’s website.
The review appears to be prompted by Ayala’s concern with problems with latent fingerprint testimony given by Orange County Sheriff’s Office latent fingerprint examiner Marco Palacio. In February 2017 prosecutors sent notices of “performance issues” regarding Palacio’s work to defense attorneys in 2,500 cases. While the state attorney’s office appears not to have connected any wrongful conviction to Palacio’s work since that time, Ayala said she was moving to conduct reviews out of an abundance of caution.
“It is my sincere hope and belief that there have not been wrongful convictions,” she said in a prepared statement. “However, numbers show wrongful convictions do exist and I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that claims of innocence are thoroughly investigated in this circuit.”