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Wrongful Accusations Do Not Necessarily Lead To Wrongful Conviction

1659 words - 7 pages

Wrongful Convictions
Introduction
There is no true way to know the amount of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted (Neubauer, 2011). Contrary to popular belief, justice and law are not coexisting (Gershman, 1993, pp. 502-515). Most individuals feel and believe that the Criminal Justice System would have steps in place to catch and rectify this issue (Neubauer, 2011). The advent of DNA testing not only generated more attention for, and research about wrongful convictions (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868). This also pushed for academicians from simply research to a hybrid of research and advocacy’s (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868). Virtually no one denies the existence of wrongful convictions (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868). Wrongful convictions challenge the integrity and legitimacy of criminal justice and call out for solutions (Davis, 2007). It acts a policy change catalyst wrongful convictions are a research field that touches upon many disciplines (Davis, 2007). The pretrial processing of criminal defendant is extremely important because most criminal cases are resolved before trial (Stolzenberg, 2012).
Body
Advocacy for innocent
Innocent networks are a recent phenomenon within the Criminal Justice System (Siegel, 2012). Their main purpose is to assist in the exoneration of those individuals who have been wrongly convicted (Siegel, 2012). Collectively, as an Innocent Network, they screen claims of innocence, work to exonerate the factually innocent, promote policies to reduce errors of justice, and provide support for exonerees (Siegel, 2012). A vast majority of these exonerations are for murder and rape cases (Siegel, 2012). And a majority has been successful through the use of DNA evidence (Siegel, 2012). The pressures to produce convictions in homicide cases have a direct correlation to wrongful convictions in murder cases (Siegel, 2012). Two former legal aid attorneys, Barry Scheck and peter Neufeld, founded the Innocence Project in 1992 at Benjamin N. Cardozo Scholl of Law (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868). Today, the Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic that handles cases where post-conviction DNA testing of evidence can yield conclusive proof of innocence (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868).
The Innocent Project is truly at the forefront of wrongful conviction research and advocacy (Neubauer, 2011). Mistaken eyewitness identification accounts for the majority of wrongful convictions (Neubauer, 2011). It is responsible for 75 percent of the DNA exonerations (Neubauer, 2011). Moreover, eyewitness identifications by both strangers and acquaintances were associated with increased odds of prosecution (Neubauer, 2011). Eyewitness misidentification is caused by natural psychological errors in human judgment (Gould, 2010, pp. 825-868). Collectively, invalid or improper forensic evidence contributes to roughly 50 percent of wrongful convictions (Neubauer, 2011). False confessions occur when people confess to crimes they did not commit (Neubauer, 2011). In...

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