Right from the start of the investigation there were faults and incorrect procedures perpetrated by the police. The events that took place leading up to the conviction of Mr. Milgaard demonstrate just how sloppy the investigation took a turn when the police became lax in their investigational procedures. The police at the time interviewed a total of 160 possible suspects without finding
prosecution, which led them to believe that there were many issues within the system that led to the wrongful conviction that needed to be fixed so another minority was not charged with a murder that was not committed by them. The Inquiry found that the investigation was not done suitably for the standards that the police, and the Crown have. The case’s evidence was insufficient due to lack of investigation at the crime scene, of the witnesses, and of the charges pursued. There was also an insufficient amount of sensitivity of this case due to the fact that it was the prosecution of a visible minority and the lack of training done on the respect to sensitivity on visible minorities. As well as the absence of sufficient review led to the wrongful conviction because they didn’t review the first eyewitness reports and relied only on the second report, which were influenced by an incompetent and unprofessional
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.
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.
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 biggest contributing factor is false identifications or eye witness misidentifications. This affects more than seventy percent of convictions that later result
It is unlikely that social consequences of false memories can be avoided. Elizabeth Loftus was intrigued to study false memories, and is perhaps personally responsible for subsequent developments throughout the history of false memories. Some of this history addresses various theories aimed at isolating how or why false memories occur. These include Source Monitoring Framework, Activation Monitoring Theory, Fuzzy Trace Theory, and strategies for persuasion which can lead to the development of false memory. Such persuasion leads to the present discussion concerning how persuasion in the judicial system has created false confessions and wrongful eyewitness testimonies, due to the Misinformation Effect. Additionally, Recovered Memory Therapy psychotherapy, a method used to reclaim lost memories, reveals itself as problematic where false memories are concerned.
Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, follows the theme of the first edition where the authors demonstrate what leads to wrongful conviction. We all know that innocent mistakes happen however, wrongful convictions are usually the result of deliberate actions of those working in the criminal justice system and not unintended errors. By using Canadian cases as miscarriages of justice, the authors argues that understanding wrongful convictions and how to prevent them is incomplete outside the broader societal context in which they occur, particularly regarding racial and social inequality. This book also analyzes how forensic science is used as a resource for prosecutors rather than seeking the truth.
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
He believed that because Blackburn bore a striking resemblance to a photograph of the offender, he must be the culprit (New South Wales 1990). Furthermore, victim identification of Mr Blackburn through ‘operation photo’ fuelled this opinion despite negative identification and other conflicting evidence. In Addition, direct involvement by senior police into the matter resulted in confusion and miscommunication between the lines of enquiry and command which led to a lack of questioning to check the worth or value of the evidence created through ‘operation photo’ (New South Wales 1990). This essay will argue that the miscarriage of justice for Mr Blackburn was founded on police incompetence and negligence regarding the evaluation of evidence and a failure to objectively and neutrally approach the case. It will do this through critique of the evidence, in particular the identification evidence, presented or ignored which could implicate Mr Blackburn under the law as it stood then and as it stands
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
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee depicts the tragic case of Tom Robinson, an innocent African American man, who was wrongly accused of a crime that never existed, a dream of a white woman who broke a moral code in the 1930s. For this crime of fantasy he was subject to the truth of an electric chair, although he never saw this chair, the result was the same, death. This brings us to our next question, how do we have the power to take a life? Will we ever have enough facts or an unbiased jury to carry out this ultimate punishment? The answer is no. There will always be a biased jury, or inconclusive evidence to support that a crime, like that of Tom Robinson’s, to kill a human being. We will be taking an in depth look at the faults of this
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.
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).