The biggest issue within the Criminal Justice system is the large number of wrongful convictions, innocent people sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. People are put in prison for years, even executed for false convictions. This affects not only those put in prison but friends and family of the accused. Wrongful convictions aren’t solely a tragedy for those directly involved either. It weakens the faith the public has for the justice system as well as poses safety issues; when innocent people are put away, the real criminals are still out there. Luckily, it is known what causes wrongful convictions and how to fix them.
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. Also, whether the CJS is doing enough to inhibit wrongful convictions and finally, the problems that parole can cause for a person maintaining their innocence.
Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, Second Edition, is relevant to the course I am taking Social Inequity and Justice because, like my course this book discusses and examines sociological approaches to social inequity in regard to race and ethnicity and how it effects these groups and their lives. Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, Second Edition is about innocent people that spend many years behind bars, wrongfully committed for crimes they did not commit. When someone is wrongfully convicted, they are being punished for an offence they did not commit and to make matters worse the actual perpetrator of the crime goes free. Many people that do get exonerated their applications take years in the federal review
Eyewitness Identification & Wrongful Conviction Introduction According to Matlin (2013), eyewitness testimonies can be inaccurate for a few reasons including the inability to pick a person from another ethnic group, issues with memory schemas, and being influenced by someone else 's recall of the facts. Therefore, eyewitness testimony is not always the most reliable when faced with trying to place a suspect at the scene of a crime.
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. An often-cited example of when the memory of an eyewitness has failed to serve justice is the case of Ronald Cotton.
Richard miles was wrongfully convicted of murder and attempted murder in 1995 based on eyewitness testimony, false or misleading forensic evidence and official misconduct. The evidence presented at his trial that is useful for this particular research paper is the eyewitness testimony. Thurman the witness in this case identified Miles as the gunman from a photospread that police had given him. Several other witnesses were shown the same photospread but could not identify Miles. Miles was charged with murder and attempted murder.
What are the causes of wrongful convictions? Criminal law examines why there are many wrongful convictions and the causes to them. Theories has shown that wrongful convictions have revealed disturbing fissures and trends in the criminal justice system. Other theories indicates that an overlapping array of contributing factors has emerged; from mistakes to misconduct to factors of race and class.
Eyewitness misinterpretation is the highest contributing factor to wrongful convictions. The majority of the wrongful convictions have been corrected by DNA. Exoneration cases that have involved convictions are based on mistaken identification and/or mistaken or overlooked evidence. While there had been evidence in the book “The Picking Cotton,” of police misconduct/ biased based on race. While prosecutors and law enforcement officials are expected, to be honest, uphold the law, have the best intentions to protect society and act with integrity but the pressure to get the right perpetrator my lead police to act inappropriate, unfair or in an unlawful manner, government misconduct can include withholding or fabricating evidence, suggestive ways
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.
In each incident, some characteristics can be more obvious than others, the distance from the incident matters, and what our brain chooses to do with the information we process are all big factors that come into play when trying to answer this question. For some people, their accounts of what occurs in front of their eyes is extremely accurate, while for other people - it is not. What I do know is, eyewitness testimony is to be used as a guideline in courtrooms, and not as any kind of evidence/proof. Too many innocent people have been wrongfully convicted due to false identifications and too many studies have proven that it is not as reliable as we all
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.
The innocence project has proposed to legislation to improve the accuracy of eyewitness ID’s. These proposals include recording the proof of identity technique so that the juries can regulate if it was accompanied properly, putting characters in the lineup
Eye witness identification involves selecting an accused perpetrator from a police line up, sketch or being at the crime scene during the murder time. After selecting a suspect, witnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID of the suspect (s) or other surrounding details which the eyewitness can testify in court. Eyewitnesses are always required to testify in court but eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, substance dependancy are at a higher chance of identifying the wrong suspect therefore wrongfully assisting convict the perpetrator in the wrong (Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld, January 1, 2010). Anxiety or stress is always associated with crimes involving traumatic events that have previously taken place.
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.