Conviction Review Unit Chief Mark Hale, second from right, in 2017. (Image: The Brooklyn District Attorney's Twitter account)
Mark Hale, the controversial head of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU), has retired.
Hale left the post at the beginning of July, the DA's office confirmed to Bklyner.
Hale had served as an Assistant District Attorney since 1983, and led the CRU since it was revamped and expanded by former DA Ken Thompson in 2014. By the time Thompson left the office in October 2016, a week before dying of cancer, the CRU had overturned 21 wrongful convictions, receiving national attention as a model of reform.
But when former Thompson deputy Eric Gonzalez took over the DA’s office in October 2016, the rate of exonerations slowed significantly—in 2017, just three people were exonerated. In 2018, that number dropped to zero.