Judge Paul Feinman is set to lead the state court system's panel examining racial inequalities in the criminal justice as the task force's purview is expanding amid a broader social reckoning surrounding systemic racism. 

The task force was formed in 2009 to review inequities in the legal system. It had since expanded in 2017 to review specific areas, including bail and speedy trial concerns in 2017. It has also focused on issues like wrongful convictions. 

Feinman was appointed to the post by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, who recently had the task force members expand their examination of the system for racial inequialities from arrest through sentencing. 

Feinman, an associate judge on the state Court of Appeals, is being appointed to the post as calls for police reform are being made around the country after weeks of protest sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer. 

“I commend the Justice Task Force members for their efforts in taking on some of the most difficult and pressing issues facing New York’s criminal justice system. Institutional racism is perhaps the most significant and complex issue the Task Force has ever had to consider," DiFiore said. "The importance of tackling it head-on cannot be understated, particularly at this critical moment in our nation’s history."