Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong In Brandon L. Garrett 's book, Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, he makes it very clear how wrongful convictions occur and how these people have spent many years in prison for crimes they never committed. Garrett presents 250 cases of innocent people who were convicted wrongfully because the prosecutors opposed testing the DNA of those convicted. Garrett provided simple statistics such as graphs, percentages, and charts to help the reader understand just how great of an impact this was. These wrongful convictions occur because the criminal justice system had many flaws. It was not only the system that had flaws but also the people on the board. The prosecutors "opposed testing, arguing that it would make no difference" whether or not those being convicted got DNA tested (Garrett 1). Confessions was one of the causes that often led to the downfall of those innocently convicted. In the case of Jeffrey Deskovic, the police officer was supposed to conduct the polygraph examination. The detective for this case explained that he did not actually conduct the examination but only tested "Deskovic 's truthfulness" and to "get …show more content…
Brandon L. Garrett used a lot of evidence to support his claims in Convicting The Innocent. Garrett used many facts to support the claims he made and represented his findings with many charts, graphs, and percentages. He reviewed police reports, interrogation transcripts and recordings, prosecution files, trial transcripts, and court opinions. Just like Garrett 's Convicting the Innocent, William Stuntz 's, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, he talks about how prosecutors now decide whom to punish and how severely they will be punished. Garrett wrote about this in his book about how the judge and jury believed the prosecutors even though before the trial they recalled a different image of their attacker then the image they have of them during
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This is a case study about a young man by the name of Korey Wise who was wrongly incarcerated in the Central Park Jogger case of 1989. Due to being the age of sixteen he was the only one out of the five boys wrongly accused to be sent to an adult prison. In this prison Korey was victim to many forms of abuse, physical and mental to name a few. He was found guilty despite the lack of evidence. None of the DNA samples or Semen matched up with Korey.
Before the advancements in science and DNA discovery, there have been many men and woman executed for a crime he/ she did not commite. After DNA was discovered there have been cases where DNA has exonerated date row inmates. If DNA wasn't discovered many men and women would have been executed and if DNA testing was available earlier it would have easily proven that Cameron Todd Willingham, Corsicana, Texas was innocent.
I would understand if it was a case similar to O.J. Simpson, who had all the odds pointing to guilty but found innocent for the heinous murder that he committed; but, this is about a man who was falsely accused from the beginning. When Walter McMillian went to court to be trialed for the first time, there was “reliable evidence” that miraculously proved him guilty without any type of forensics to back it up. I thought that to be found guilty there needs to cold hard evidence to show the judge for a fair trial? And to not side with someone’s opinion because they heard a lie from their
The day after I finished the book without any enthusiasm, I attended one of the common read event called "An Overview of the Innocence Project and Innocence Work" held by a staff attorney with the Innocence Project, Karen Thompson. As mentioned briefly at the end of the book, the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people through the use of DNA testing (Innocence Project 2015) origin from the project found by Richard Rosen, the law professor who helped Ron to win his freedom and were influenced by his case and the flow of letters from people in similar situation as Ron looking for a justice and seeing DNA technology as their last hope to clear their name. The presentation was quite informative and interesting, I learned the actual definition of scientific evidence - what can be considered as an actual scientific evidence or cannot be used as a scientific evidence and how it helped and continue to free many innocent people who are wrongly convicted. After the introduction and some more information on imperfection in criminal justice system and the investigation process, the audience - including me, were asked to watch a short clip as an exercise. Right away I knew she would ask us a question regarding the clip that related to false memory from the book, so I made sure to memorize every little detail trying hard not to miss anything.
In 1988, Harrison asked for a DNA test, which was done but testing at that time, came back with the results of unable to determine, being that the US had only been using it since 1986. (Justice) After have spent 15 years in prison, Clarence Harrison contacted a group named “The Innocent Project,” to take on his case to prove his innocence and was accepted.
What if the DNA was tampered with or contaminated? DNA testing is not always reliable and this issue is evident in a large number of investigations. One well known incident of this occurring is the Josiah Sutton rape case- "In 2004, Josiah Sutton was exonerated after serving four and a half years of a 25-year sentence for a rape he did not commit. Sutton's conviction was the result of a mistaken identification and faulty scientific testing performed by the Houston police laboratory.
Anthony Robinson strove all his life to escape the caste system of the ghetto he grew up in. He graduated from a prestigious college and joined the military, only to be falsely identified in a rape case and convicted. He argued many times that he was innocent and was devastated that he ended up in jail, adding to the reputation of those who grow up in the ghetto usually end up in prisons. He had to serve thirteen years in jail before he was paroled able to prove his innocence; he accomplished this with a DNA sample after saving his own money to fund a DNA examination to prove he did not commit the crime and clear his record(1,2). Sadly, Robinson is not the only one who's life was ruined because he was falsely convicted and given no fair trial.
An absurd amount of innocent people in the nation, have fallen victim to a disorganized legal system, and are suffering because of it. Dennis Brown, and James Harden, are two examples of this, and can relate because of it. They’ve been falsely convicted, without DNA evidence, but the truth of the case is finally revealed with their release. Dennis Brown, a black male from Louisiana, has been one of many people that have been wrongfully convicted without proper DNA evidence. First off, he’s been falsely convicted of rape and burglary.
There are many reasons for wrongful convictions, in the cases of Ronald Cotton, Christopher Abernathy, and Marvin Anderson, the main evidence that led up to their convictions were eyewitness testimonies. It is sad that people waste so many years of their lives due to false misconstrued information. Therefore, eyewitness testimonies should not be sufficient evidence to make a case. Fortunately, there have been innocent people exonerated and released from prison thanks to DNA testing. People should be cautious when making an eyewitness testimony, they should make sure that they are 100% sure that they are picking the right person.
With millions of criminal convictions a year, more than two million people may end up behind bars(Gross). According to Samuel Gross reporter for The Washington Post, writes that also “even one percent amounts to tens of thousands of tragic [wrongful conviction] errors”(Gross). Citizens who are wrongfully convicted are incarcerated for a crime he or she did not commit. Many police officers, prosecutors, and judges are responsible for the verdict that puts innocents into prison. To be able to get exonerated many wait over a decade just to get there case looked at, not many are able to have the opportunity of getting out.
Even when Michael’s new defense team, through the innocence project, found a crime that was eerily similar to the method of murder and subsequent events to the one that Michael was convicted of, the new prosecutor in Williamson County fought hard to keep DNA testing from taking place, even stating that they objected to the testing now because the defense hadn’t requested it before (Morton, 2014). There was further evidence of ineffectiveness in that the coroner who’d changed his estimated time of death between the autopsy and trial, had come under scrutiny for his findings in this case, as well as several others, with claims of gross errors “including one case where he came to the conclusion that a man who’d been stabbed in the back had committed suicide” (Morton, 2014). This was only one of the many injustices that were committed against Michael Morton throughout his trial. In August of 2006, the defense was finally granted permission to perform DNA testing on the items that had been taken from his wife’s body (Morton, 2014). Although this testing did not reveal any information about the guilty party, it did at least give Michael the knowledge that Chris was not sexually violated before or after her death (Morton,
Wrongful convictions are one of the most worrisome and tragic downsides to the Canadian Criminal Justice System. As stated by Campbell & Denov (2016). “cases of wrongful convictions in Canada call into question the ability of our criminal justice system to distinguish between the guilty and innocence” (p. 226). In addition, wrongful convictions can have devastating repercussions on the person, who was found guilty, effecting their personal/public identities, beliefs and family lives. This essay will be examine some of the common factors that apply to the conviction of an innocence person.
Luckily, it is known what causes wrongful convictions and how to fix them. Many wrongful convictions are due to mistaken eyewitnesses, jailhouse snitches, or false evidence. I think many of the wrongful convictions could be solved with harder evidence, more information. A case should not rely on a single eye witness but multiple.
Since the founding of our judicial system there have always been individuals claiming innocence to a crime that they have been found guilty of, traditionally, after their sentencing no matter how innocent they may or may not be would have to serve, live and possibly die by the decision of their peers. The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck alongside Peter J. Neufeld faces this issue by challenging the sentencing of convicted individuals who claim their innocence and have factual ground to stand upon. The Innocence Project uses the recent advances in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing to prove their client’s innocence by using methods that were not available, too primitive or not provided to their clients during their investigation,