Marcus Dixon was a highly recruited high school football player. His life suddenly took a tragic turn when he was falsely convicted of raping a 15 year old girl. The elements around his false conviction could have been avoided with some reform to the criminal justice courts system. Dixon initially had many charges against him but were narrowed down to statutory rape and aggravated child molestation. There was much racial disparity surrounding the jury on Dixon’s case, in that the county that Dixon committed his “crime” was a predominantly white population. It can be argued that the jury was not a proper representation of his peers. Along with other factual errors surrounding Dixon’s false conviction,
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.
Being just in the American criminal justice system is a topic that is highly debated. Some believe the system is just, while others believe it is a flawed. The truth however, is that humans are not always right. God is the only who can practice justice in complete perfection, because humans are not perfect. Although many people in the American criminal justice system have good intentions, sadly that does not necessarily mean they are always just. The American criminal justice system tries to be truly just and has been before, but humans are not perfect and cannot always be truly just.
In Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, he writes to illustrate the injustices of the judicial system to its readers. To do so, Stevenson utilizes multiple writing styles that provide variety and helps keep the reader engaged in the topic. Such methods of his include the use of anecdotes from his personal experiences, statistics, and specific facts that apply to cases Stevenson had worked on as well as specific facts that pertain to particular states.
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.
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New
Sandel, Michael J. (2009). Justice: What’s the right thing to do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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.
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
An absurd amount of innocent people in the nation, have fallen victim to a disorganized legal system, and are suffering because of it. Dennis Brown, and James Harden, are two examples of this, and can relate because of it. They’ve been falsely convicted, without DNA evidence, but the truth of the case is finally revealed with their release.
Throughout the court of Canada there has been many records of wrongfully convictions that have occured. Today we still investigate those cases and why this lead for an wrongful act. Thomas Sophonow, David Milgaard, and James Driskell are three of the many that were wrongfully convicted. They were all imprisoned for murder and served jail time for 5 or more years.
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
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.
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.
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.