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Preventing Wrongful Convictions Essay

1334 words - 5 pages

Every time an innocent person is exonerated based on DNA testing, law enforcement agencies look at what caused the wrongful convictions. There are many issues that contribute to putting guiltless lives behind bars including: eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, imperfect forensic science, and more (Gould and Leo 18). When a witness is taken into a police station to identify a suspect, it is easy for their memories to be blurred and their judgment influenced. This can lead the witness to identify a suspect who is actually innocent. Flawed forensic science practice also contributes to wrongful imprisonments. In the past, analysts have been inaccurate due to carelessness, testified in court presenting evidence that was not based on science, and participated in misconduct. False confessions have also been known to cause unlawful convictions. In some instances, police departments took part in transgression and interviewed their suspects in such an intense manner that a false confession was used cease the interrogation. To imagine that there are innocent people rotting in prison is appalling and something must be done. To prevent wrongful convictions, legislatures should form commissions and policies to reform flawed procedures.
Commissions must be formed to defend the wrongly convicted and inform the public of the horrific wrong that has been done to them. The objective of these commissions is to free those who were wrongly accused. They work to find evidence and reasons to exonerate the innocent. Good things can come from the public being informed about dire issues such as wrongful convictions. When people hear about situations like these they look to volunteer. Also the commissions are a great way to focus on gathering evidence and proving the persons innocence.
The Innocence Project notes that, In October 2005 the Supreme Court put The North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission (NCAIC) into order. The mission of the agency is to “develop potential procedures to decrease the possibility of conviction of the innocent in North Carolina, thereby increasing conviction of the guilty.” In 2003 the proposal of the commission was implemented by the instruction and teaching committee of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standard Commission and was incorporated into State Basic Law Enforcement Training. These were eventually made into statutory law in 2008. The NCIAC takes thousands of claims and has taken multiple cases to court (Garrett 2013). Agencies like the NCIAC work to bring justice to those who were served injustice. The innocent who end up in prison can’t exonerate themselves on their own. They need help and commissions are their last chance to the freedom they deserve. Commissions have been a helpful asset to pardon the innocent but the largest cause for exonerations is based on DNA testing.
DNA testing should be awarded to all who claim innocence. It is too expensive to carry out DNA testing for every person...

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