In 1984 Dr. Alex Jeffreys came up with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fingerprinting, which is also known as DNA profiling or DNA typing. DNA fingerprinting is the analyzing
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.
Over the past few decades, hundreds of people have been falsely imprisoned. Many of their cases were founded on the account of one or more eyewitnesses. The criminal justice system often relies on eyewitness accounts to piece together a crime and identify the perpetrator. But studies showing the faultiness of our memories, particularly in stressful events, suggest that witnesses may not be as reliable of a source as we think.
Many news stories, reports, and books fairly describe wrongful convictions in detail, although not all of these wrongful convictions resulted in formal exonerations. Most witness misidentifications were made in good faith with the witness attempting to help officials find the real perpetrator of a crime, although this explanation does not examine the conditions under which these identifications were made. Some of the conditions that need to be taken into account are whether a photo was shown to a victim by the police before a lineup, whether the identification by the witness was hesitant, or if the victim was urged to be positive when testifying. Additionally, was the identification from the same race; was there prejudice, how much distance and duration of interaction was there between victim and suspect prior to identification and what were the viewing conditions; darkness or day light? With so many factors involved, it should be obvious to some why eye-witness misidentification can happen so frequently. Moreover, the testimony of an eyewitness relies on how accurate their memory of an event actually is. Eyewitness misidentification is the greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions proven by DNA testing, playing a role in more than 70% of convictions overturned through DNA testing nationwide (“Eyewitness Misidentification,”
The principle in law that one is innocent until proven guilty has created much discourse. There are those who feel that the moment that one is arrested, there is reasonable belief that they committed the crime. However, there are those who feel that just as the principle states, one is, and should be taken as a victim and the outcome could be either way: guilty or not guilty. In fact, this argument is supported by the many cases of malicious prosecutions and mistaken identities.
Since 1992, 333 people in the United States have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated by DNA testing. Of these 333 people, 20 served time under death row. (Inn Proj) Because of this, faith in the criminal justice system is at times questioned.
There comes a time in the criminal justice system where a law that was written to protect us will be challenged through a court case. That case will eventually make history and will become a reference in future cases with similar dilemmas. In 1983, one particular case met the criteria (Arizona vs. Youngblood). In this case, Larry Youngblood was convicted by a jury in Arizona of child molestation, sexual assault, and kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy. Both a criminologist for the State and an expert witness for the defendant testified as to what they believed the results were from the tests that were performed on the samples shortly after they were collected, they also commented on later tests performed on the samples from the boy’s clothing
DNA has become a vital part of criminal investigations. DNA can include and exclude suspects of criminal investigations. During a criminal investigation, all DNA should be collected, properly preserved and tested, but at times this does not occur or the technology was not available for this process to occur. In addition, DNA has become an imperative portion of exoneration cases.
For the past two decades, “The Innocence Project” with the help of updated science methods have worked relentlessly to get innocent people out of prison. Through DNA testing, they have been able to find new evidence that have freed hundreds of prisoners who were wrongfully convicted. Other factors such as eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, government misconduct, and inadequate defense also played keys roles in the wrongful convictions. The case that I would I would like to highlight today is that of, Johnnie Lindsey. Johnnie Lindsey was a 30-year old laundry worker who was falsely accused of rape. On August 25, 1981, a white woman reported that she raped while riding her bike at White Rock Lake in Dallas. She told police that
The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” is a popular statement among law enforcement and government employees, but this statement is not always upheld, as various errors, such as misclassification, are a major cause of false confessions.
When one is victim of or witness to a crime, it is expected that said person is brought into the police department to be questioned by the police. During this line of questioning it is possible that the victim or witness take part in suspect identification procedures. Such procedures include the use of lineups, showups, photo arrays and others. These procedures are referred to as system variables. These system variables are factors under the control of the investigators that have a demonstrated effect on the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness testimony. Examples of system variables that can influence eyewitness testimony include but are not limited to: statements made to eyewitnesses prior to and after lineups, instructions given to witnesses
In the book “Picking Cotton”, the former Burlington Police Chief Mike Gauldin, who was the lead detective on Jennifer’s case, was certainly sure that Ronald Cotton was the guy he was looking for after Jennifer picked him twice (Jennifer, Ronald, Erin 80); also, on the McCallum’s case, the polices also chose to trust eyewitnesses when they did not have enough physical evidences.Furthermore, judges can be wrong sometime. Wise and Safer, who are authors of the report “ what US judges know and believe about eyewitness testimony”, surveyed 160 U.S. judges to determine how much they know about eyewitness testimony on a small test( Wise, Safer, 427-432). However, the survey responds the average judges in the U.S. only 55% correct within 14 questions (Wise, Safer, 431-432). Moreover, most of the judges who were surveyed did not know key facts about eyewitness testimony. For example, the gap between eyewitness’ confidence and accuracy at trial. As we all known, judges play significance rule in court; also, on my point of view, the judge is a symbol of justice. However, when something were done in wrong way, the only way to fix it is to compensate the victims of wrongfully convicted
Furthermore, there can be several factors at play when a wrongful conviction occurs and each case is unique. Three of the more common and detrimental factors that will be explored in this essay are eyewitness error, the use of jailhouse informants and professional and institutional misconduct. Firstly, eyewitness testimony can be a major contributor to a conviction and is an important factor in wrongful conviction (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p. 227). Witness recall and, frankly, the human emory are not as reliable as previously thought. In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227). All of these components lead to eyewitness error and essentially false incrimination. Secondly, another factor that can contribute to wrongful conviction is the use of jailhouse informants. Campbell & Denov (2016), describe jailhouse informants as prisoner informants that “provide information to law enforcement officials in exchange for money, property, or the promise of leniency in sentencing” (p. 229). This can be problematic because jurors place value on the
Eyewitness identification is ineffective and unjust. Studies have shown that 40% of eyewitness identifications are wrong (Vrij, 1998). Eyewitness identification has great importance in the legal system. This requires the best eyewitness testimony procedure. This essay examines the three main types of eyewitness line-ups; the showup, the sequential and the simultaneous line-up. This essay draws conclusions as to which method the legal system should implement.
Eyewitness testimony is unethical as the evidence that is supplied can be provided by someone with stress or anxiety issues this can assist by distraught the image of the suspect. Wrongfully sending an innocent individual to prison. Bloods worth’s case displays it is unethical as there was no psychical evidence nor appearance matched that supported Bloodsworth was responsible for the murder and rape of the victim. Three eyewitnesses were able to identify the perpetrator out of the five and this was based from evidence that he was spotted with the young girl hours earlier before the crime was