The book that I selected is called “Getting Life” by Michael Morton, who is a man that was wrongfully convicted of killing his wife in Texas in 1986. This book takes us from a happy young couple to the day of the murder, through the investigation into his wife’s murder, Michael’s trial and conviction, 25 years in prison, appeals, release from prison, and reintegration into society. One unique fact about this case is that is the first case where the prosecutor in a wrongful conviction case was subsequently convicted of prosecutorial misconduct, stripped of their law license and sentenced to serve time in jail.
The fiber evidence presented in this case was so overwhelming and simply was the driving force leading to Wayne Williams conviction. I do not believe the prosecution would have been able to obtain the same results without it. The credibility of the FBI forensics investigators and their reputable crime lab made for excellent testimony concerning the fiber evidence at trail, which the defense was simply ill prepared to counter attack its merits (The Atlanta, n.d.). Other evidence was presented in this case, and much of this evidence while certainly impactful on the case and to members of the jury, this evidence alone without the fiber evidence would surely not have held up to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fred Zain was a forensic lab technician that worked for both the states of West Virginia and Texas. A man who did a job he was severely under qualified for, for ten years, and who was thought to be a start asset in his line of work.Fred Zain had testified in countless cases, presenting himself well and appeared to know his trade so well that no one in the courtroom questioned the lab results obtained by Zain. It is very well known that his actions in court are viewed as unethical by today’s standards. In his time of employment, Fred Zain acquired a lengthy rap sheet of tampering and falsifying evidence, false convictions. Fred Zain was a man who would do anything and everything to convict anyone he saw as guilty. A man who did so until his lies and deceit finally caught up with him.
Relationships, lies, murder, conviction. These are all aspects that come into play when talking about the January 13th, 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee. Adnan Syed, Hae’s 17-year-old ex-boyfriend was convicted of her murder in 2000. The problem with this is that the only evidence the state had to convict Adnan was the stories told by others, specifically someone named Jay who was with Adnan for some of the day Hae went missing and had possession of Adnan’s car and cell phone. He claims Adnan made him come pick him up after the murder was committed and assist him in burying Hae’s body. This story alone ultimately convicted Adnan. No physical evidence was ever found. Reporter Sarah Koenig realized the patchy story of this case
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
The case prosecuted under the court of Appeal of Ontario, Her Majesty the Queen v Danny Lalumiere, in 2011, was intended to appeal the conviction of counseling to commit murder. The appellant argued that the life sentence was not appropriate and was outside the range of sentences imposed on similar offenders for similar offenses. This is an example of a case where legal guilt was used to provide a conviction. The conviction of the appellant was based on the testimony of a psychiatrist doctor, Dr. Pallandi, who provided a profile of the accused and concluded that the appellant was pathologically predisposed to commit an offense. The appellate court ruled against the Crown’s decision at the trial, stating that the appellant lacked moral culpability for his offenses and therefore the sentence was not deserved. The decision of the appellate court was based on factual guilt of the appellant, which overruled the concept of legal guilt used at his original sentencing. The decision of the Crown was based on the presumption of guilt based on the individual’s social behavior, which made his conviction highly unusual ("R. v. Lalumiere, 2011 ONCA 826 (CanLII)", 2011).
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. People plead guilty for crimes that are not committed by them to avoid trial, but by doing so the right decision wasn’t made.
The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is the largest prison in America. The Angola prison consists of six different complexes, and 1,800 workers making sure the prison functions properly. Moreover, a small town called the Beeline was built around the prisons perimeter for extra security. The Farm: Life inside Angola Prison states that 200 employers’ families are risings their children’s in Beeline. The video The Farm: Life inside Angola Prison provides several examples of inmates’ life inside the prison. The warden of the prison stated that most of the inmates that are incarcerated in Angola are most likely to die there. Most of the inmates that are in the Angola Prison are African Americans. According to DeLisi and Conis
The Innocence Project frees people from jail that were wrongly convicted of a crime. That is what happened to Roy Brown. Through the help of the Innocence Project, he was released from jail. Brown was convicted of a horrific crime that included murder, even though the evidence that was provided was analyzed and presented wrongly. This lead to his wrong convection.
In July 1984 Jennifer Thompson, a 22-year old white woman, was raped by a black man in her apartment. A man named Ronald Cotton was arrested and identified by Thompson in a line-up and a phot-spread. According to her interview with CBS’s 60 minutes in 1999, Thompson explained how she was confident in her identification. In 1985, Cotton’s conviction of raping Thompson was based largely on her identification. While in prison, two years later, a fellow inmate of Cotton confessed to the rape of Jennifer Thompson. However, it wasn’t until 1995 when DNA showed that Ronald Cotton was innocent. According to the Innocence Project, Ronald Cotton spent 10 years in prison before being exonerated.
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.
Innocence: the lack of experience with the world and with the bad things that happen in life. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, innocence is something that has to be lost in order to make room for compassion to grow. To Kill a Mockingbird follows a young girl, Scout, as she faces many life experiences that help shape her childhood. In the beginning of the novel, Scout continuously bothered a man named Arthur “Boo” Radley. Boo Radley never came out of his house, or had any social interaction with other members of the community. At first, this really confused Scout, and ultimately led to many late night plots to try and make Boo Radley come out. However, when Scout began school, she worried less about Boo Radley. As she progressed
How do you define innocence? Is there someone out in the world who is purely innocent? To understand innocence you should look at what a mockingbird does, because all they do is sing. In Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus and Miss Maudie teach Scout and Jem that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. Mockingbirds are an important symbol because they represent goodness and innocence. In this book, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are two innocent men, similar to mockingbirds, who get taken advantage of due to their innocence.
After someone commits a crime, multitudes of people show up to the crime scene. The Police, Detectives, Marshalls, sometimes even the Fire Department and Ambulances depending on the crime. There are many forms of evidence presented in a court of law, but one type of evidence rises above the rest. Forensic Evidence, as stated in “Forensic Science: Evidence, Clues, and Investigation” by Andrea Campbell is the best evidence to present in trial.
“Evidence is information that people base decisions on. In a legal sense, evidence is the information Presented in court during a trial that enables a judge and jury to decide a particular case” (Garland, 1979, p. 475). Evidence is the key to solving any criminal case. Some evidence is easier to collect than others, but there are trained professionals who know what to look for and where to find it. Anything that is used in the commission a crime can be used as evidence. Evidence can range from blood drops to any tool that was used during the crime.