Dr_DeeH@comcast.net

Convicting The InnocentDove

Our criminal justice system is not as accurate as it should be.   It contains flaws at critical junctures.   More than 250 people across the country have been exonerated of the crimes for which they were convicted.   They were not freed because of a technicality; they were actually innocent .   This is a tragedy because whenever an innocent person suffers, a guilty person is free.   These wrongful convictions meant that the actual criminals remained free … not only going unpunished for previous offenses, but free to commit more and worse crimes.

 

There are several myths why innocent people are convicted :

  • Everyone in prison claims innocence
  • Our system almost never convicts an innocent person
  • Only the guilty confess
  • Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error
  • An eyewitness is the best testimony
  • Conviction errors get corrected on appeal
  • It dishonors a victim to question a conviction
  • If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them

It's easy to blame innocent convictions on occasional human error… however, just because a system is a human one doesn't mean that we should casually assume that things must go wrong.   Wrongful convictions reveal a larger pattern of incompetence, abuse, and errors that exist in the criminal justice system that need attention, resolution and solutions .   Mishandled evidence, prosecutorial conduct, bad science, cops with tunnel vision, and an appellate court reluctant to reopen old cases even in the face of new evidence suggests juries   got the conviction wrong.