Wrongful Convictions Essay

1766 Words8 Pages
Every year, innocent people are given prison sentences to crimes they did not commit. Statistics are kept by the Criminal Justice Department on the number of wrongful convictions but according to research, it has been estimated to 5% of the cases tried have resulted in a false conviction. Reasons due to false convictions are misidentification from a witness, false confessions, forensic mistakes, DNA testing, coercion, and more. A number of ideas will be argued as possible solutions to help lower the number of wrongful convictions that are given the innocent people who fall trapped to this system. A study by Barry Scheck [2008] on forensic evidence revealed that not more than 20% of the felony cases involved biological evidence [Scheck, 2008, p.4]. Although the number seems low, the proper handling and testing of biological evidence can offer some hope to an innocent suspect. Other variables that lead to wrongful convictions are false statements and confessions. Which that can be taken from suspects through questionable actions of methods. [Leo, Ofshe, 1998] or that pooled from jailhouse snitched, informants, or cooperators. Many people believe that the use of evidence has been corrupted in the system while others believe that cases where evidence is used are deviations from the typical process. “Eyewitness misidentifications were a factor in over 70% of wrongful convictions.” The knowledge that a free citizen could be unreasonably sentenced to prison or executed by the State is totally opposed the thought of shrewd treatment likely in the United States. DNA is the leading cause to wrongful convictions. If the problem is to be talked and fixed, it must first be understood; not as it is seen, but as it is. It is difficult to express...

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...ng to the innocence project, the closed cases from 2004-2010 revealed that 22 percent of cases were closed because of lost or destroyed evidence. That can be a huge number today as it increases. We, as a society think that we are putting away the bad guys, but in reality, do we really know who is guilty and who is innocent? People who give false identifications or statements, people who break the law who are given the authority to uphold the law should be in more trouble than the people who they tried to convict. We are taking away potential victims from their families and homes. We destroy people quicker through the criminal justice system than we ever did in the social world. These are lives that can be saved from the brute and low grounds of prisons as we strip them from their freedom because we were too hasty to overlook the evidence and ask questions.
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