Former Somerset County DA chosen to lead new Conviction Integrity Unit

Local News

HARRISBURG (WTAJ) — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday the statewide Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), which will be led by a former Somerset County District Attorney.

The mission of the CIU is to “review and re-evaluate past convictions to ensure justice,” Shapiro said in a release.

“This unit provides a mechanism for the review of cases to make sure justice was served, and if not, to right the wrongs of our imperfect system,” Shapiro said. “This is a crucially important work and our focus will be to collaborate with Pennsylvania counties lacking the necessary resources to properly revisit and analyze past convictions.”

Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser was picked by Shapiro to lead the CIU. Lazzari-Strasiser is a former public defender and former Somerset County District Attorney.

“Lisa has a unique perspective when revisiting cases, having argued throughout her career from both sides of the courtroom,” Shapiro said.

“I’m proud to join the Office of Attorney General as the new Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit,” Lazzari-Strasiser said. “Having been the former public defender for Cambria County and the former District Attorney for Somerset County, I can tell you it is the responsibility of prosecutes to pursue justice and correct past mistakes, even when those mistakes are made by law enforcement.”

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