Case Analysis : ' Tunnel Vision ' Essay

Case Analysis : ' Tunnel Vision ' Essay

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Wrongful convictions in Canada is a very sensitive and disturbing topic that has created concerns as to why individuals are being wrongfully convicted. As people in Canada read about cases involving wrongful conviction, such as Guy Paul Morin, Rubin Carter and David Millguard, it often undermines their faith in the criminal justice system. Tunnel vision, the use of questionable DNA evidence, and eyewitness misidentification are the three main causes of wrongful convictions in Canada. Recognizing and addressing these concerns has led to a reduction in cases of wrongful convictions in Canada.
Tunnel vision is a significant factor contributing to wrongful convictions. Tunnel vision occurs when police officers narrow their focus to a particular suspect or theory. Tunnel vision often occurs because of pressure from the public that leads the police to make an assumption in a case that could result in injustice. Dianne L Martin defines the mistake of tunnel vision as To narrow a focus on a suspect and “select and filter the evidence that will ‘build a case’ for conviction, while ignoring or suppressing evidence that points away from guilt.” According to Joan McEwen, tunnel vision affects all phases of a criminal proceeding, beginning with the investigation, through to the prosecution, trial or plea bargain or to the appeal. One of the main factors in wrongful convictions, tunnel vision, has been recognized by psychologist as a human tendency to quickly convict a suspect so that society feels safe. Although tunnel vision is seen as a natural instinct it can convict innocent individuals and weaken the criminal justice system . Jerome Frank, a judge in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals explored the causes of wrongful convictio...

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...ngful convictions. The ability to identify a suspect is often influenced by police officer procedural error, the weapon or object present during the crime and the psychological factors that cause a witness to forget what took place. The use of invalid forensic evidence and misconduct by scientific analysts has weakened the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases. Tunnel vision, eyewitness misidentification and forensic evidence are the factors contributing to wrongful convictions in Canada. Although these factors have put thousands of innocent individuals behind bars, there has been improvements throughout the past decade. The legitimacy of the criminal justice system is based upon both its effectiveness and its fairness. Will the Canadian criminal justice system gain respect or continue to be doubted due to the amount of innocent individuals suffering behind bars?

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