Preventing The Injustice Of Wrongful Imprisonment

1285 words - 5 pages

Wrongful conviction and imprisonment is a big issue in the United States. A man by the name of Jerry Miller who “spent 25 years in prison for rape was exonerated… a judge threw out his convictions because DNA evidence showed he could not have committed the attack”. However Mr. Miller’s case is not an abnormal one, he has become the 200th person exonerated of all charges with thanks to post conviction DNA testing. The “Innocence Project”, “a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices” , came to Jerry Millers representation and helped him to obtain the court order he needed to test the DNA to prove his own innocence. “Just since 2000, there have been 135 DNA-based exonerations….. 14 people sentenced to death, a combined total of 2,475 nights in jail”, all for crimes these 200 people did not commit, these men have post conviction DNA testing to thank for their freedom, but still there are 2.3 million people imprisoned in the United States, most in prison for crimes that do not involve forensic evidence. Leading people to believe that thousands of innocent people are being held behind bars as prisoners for crimes they did not commit but they do not have enough substantial evidence to show proof. Out of the 200 cases that the people were acquitted 77% were convicted solely on mistaken eyewitnesses.
Mr. Miller accounted for a portion of that 77%. Miller was a suspect in this case because days before the crime, Officer Kenneth Fligelman had stopped him and said that he was suspected of “looking” into parked cars. Mr. Millers theoretical raping happened on the roof of a parking garage, and when a composite sketch was passed around the room officer Fligelman, who is now retired, and his partner recognized Mr. Miller. At his trial the parking lot attendants identified Mr. Miller, the victim of the crime said that Mr. Miller looked like her attacker. Not taking into account that the attacker was described to only have a few days of facial hair, where as Mr. Miller had a fully grown goatee, the judge stated that the evidence against him was overwhelming and sentenced Mr. Miller to 45 long years in prison. After Miller was set free, the DNA that was compared to his, the proof of his innocence, was put into the FBI’s convicted offender database and sure enough a match came up. This means that the real attacker did not only get away with rape back in 1981, but also has committed at least one more crime since the innocent Jerry Miller has been wasting in jail. Even after Mr. Miller has been released he does not get to enjoy his freedom. He was released on parole as a registered sex offender, he is being monitored by an electric device that he must wear at all times, not only can he not leave his job for lunch, but also on Halloween when children come to his door for candy he is restricted from opening...

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