Injustices Of The Justice System. Why Do Wrongful Convictions Of The Death Penalty Occur? This Research Paper Describes Many Reasons For Why Wrongful Convictions Occur.

997 words - 4 pages

For many years there has been a shameful error in the United State's judicial system. Though usually gone unseen to the eye of the media, the wrongful conviction of innocent convicts is rampant in United State's courtrooms. There are many different ways that a defendant can become victim to a faulty verdict. Since these cases are inconspicuous there can only be inconclusive statistics to go along with them. Anything that is run by human beings will always have its mistakes. To keep these mistakes from happening there are protections and critic's recommendations to help.Though wrongful convictions have been occurring for many years it still has slipped by the cunning senses of the public. The minds of the public lead them to believe that there are only a few cases of wrongful convictions. These naive thoughts have not even scratched the surface of the statistics on occurrences of this measure. A book written by Michael Radelet, "In Spite of Innocence," gives 415 cases of murder trials that ended in death were actually proven to be wrongful convictions (www.members.cox.net/jalbert13/wrongful.html). Two scholars, James McCloskey and David Rudovskey, give a little more insight in which they truly believe that ten percent of everyone convicted are innocent.Most convictions are handled without a trial because the evidence to convict someone is overwhelming. This means that the ones that do go to trial are based solely on circumstantial evidence. Sometimes this helps to cause judicial error because a jury will reach a verdict in spite of lack of proof. A legal phrase commonly used "Proof beyond a reasonable doubt" is not always fulfilled. Clearly a profound example where this legal phrase and circumstantial evidence is displayed would be in court cases where eyewitness testimony is the key evidence. Cases where this is found should never be taken literally to bring about a verdict. Sometimes eyewitnesses testify out of a pure grudge.Next, a prime leader in wrongful convictions is created by faulty representation. When people can not afford an attorney they are provided with a public defender, which usually means you have been provided with an incompetent attorney. Attorneys of this sort are usually burdened with an overload of cases and they can not give as much attention to a client who is not paying for their services. To add to it these attorneys usually have insufficient resources to help win the cases. Clearly to have someone who is supposed to be there to keep his or her client's head above water and be incompetent in doing so brings hatred in the defendant. One example of such a catastrophe is Judy Haney's case. She was on trial for having her husband killed. Then the day of the trial the attorney appeared in court intoxicated. In addition, he failed to present hospital records proving she was a battered spouse, which would surely have alleviated the charges (www.justice.policy.net/jpreport.html). The Economist Magazine reports that of the 5,000...

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