Essay On Wrongful Convictions

1853 Words8 Pages
Being convicted of a crime that you had nothing to do with must be the most frustrating feeling in the world. Although I had already started a previous research paper, my interest and attention was caught when I viewed an in class video by the name of The Farm: Angola, USA. There were two individuals named George Crawford and Vincent Simmons whose case caught my attention. George Crawford and Vincent Simmons case sounded a little sketchy in my opinion, and the thought of them being wrongfully convicted came to my mind. Although my paper is not about them, their stories inspired me to research about wrongful convictions and exonerations. There are still people who have been convicted 30 years and more, and are still in prison because of how…show more content…
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,”
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