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. On August 25, 1981, a white woman reported that she raped while riding her bike at White Rock Lake in Dallas. She told police that
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.
Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong 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.
One day in 1995, Cotton was watching the O.J. Simpson trial and watched how they used DNA as evidence and once again called on his lawyers. Knowing it would clear his name seeing that none of his DNA would be found at neither Thompson-Cannino’s nor the others girls crime scene. He asked for and was granted the test that would free him. After almost eleven long years of imprisonment, Cotton was able to walk out as a free, innocent man. He soon married and had a child of his own.
Luckily, it is known what causes wrongful convictions and how to fix them. Many wrongful convictions are due to mistaken eyewitnesses, jailhouse snitches, or false evidence. I think many of the wrongful convictions could be solved with harder evidence, more information. A case should not rely on a single eye witness but multiple.
The United States criminal justice system is riddled with cases of many varieties. Some have obvious outcomes while others warrant more detailed analysis. However, some cases go beyond the court into other courts, where they are decided, such as Jackson versus Hobbs in 2012. The courts try to lighten the load of cases they have by offering plea bargaining, an agreement among a defendant and a prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty to a charge that is less severe than what he or she is initially charged for in the hopes that clemency will be administered. Sometimes, however, people accused of a crime are completely innocent, and it is not until technology is released, such as DNA testing, decades later that these people are proved to
The final result was that it was not Steve Avery’s DNA that was examined from Penny’s nails but whose was it? After 10 long years the Avery case finally got approved for appeal. After fighting to have the case reopened, it was revisited and found that there was no way that Avery had committed the crime. Gregory A. Allan was found guilty and sentenced to prison. Avery and his lawyers went on to try Manitowic County Sherrif Department for the 18 years that he was incarcerated and the mistrial of justice.
One of the most accurate methods of connecting a suspect with a crime is through the use of DNA analysis. Even if no fingerprints are left behind at a robbery, for instance, a single strand of hair or skin cell from the thief can be used to positively identify a suspect. Conversely, if a suspect’s DNA does not match samples procured from a crime scene, the use of so-called “genetic fingerprinting” can exonerate, or clear, them. Concern over the issue of wrongful convictions, coupled with a sense of greater trust in DNA analysis over other, more conventional methods of prosecution, such as eyewitness testimony, has led some to call for mandatory DNA testing before any person begins serving a sentence for a serious crime, as well as
However, with Texas and Illinois having the greatest amount of exonerations in the United States, according to data from the CBS News team (CBS News, 2014, para. 5), states the initial use of DNA was not held to standards or technology was advanced. DNA has impacted the exonerations in Texas and Illinois, among other states. According to the article Study of DNA data shows potential for wrongful convictions written in the Richmond Times, a study was conducted which shared the results of approximately 6 percent of people convicted in the past 15 years could be innocent as the result of DNA testing not being available at that time (Green, 2012, para. 1). This research is significant to the criminal justice system. Victims of violent crime deserve justice and convicting the wrong person is not only injustice for the victim, but for the one is being wrongfully convicted.
In 1994, Congress passed the Truth-in-Sentencing Incentive Grants law. Truth-in-Sentencing laws were put into place to help reduce the possibility of an inmate being able to have early release from incarceration. Each state has their own policies, rules and regulations for inmate release. The truth-in-sentencing law requires that offenders serve the majority of their prison sentence imposed by the court in order to be eligible for release. Previous policies included reducing the amount of time the offender served on a sentence, such as good behavior, earn time, and the parole board made a decision to release an inmate. These policies were restricted or stopped when the truth-in-sentencing law came into effect. Abadinsky, Howard, Probation
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 is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” The mission of the Innocence Project is to exonerate people who they believe don’t belong in jail and aren’t guilty of the crime they were convicted for. People write to them asking for them to investigate on difference cases and they will evaluate potential cases by gathering information about each case application and see if they can determine whether DNA testing can be conducted. Christopher Abernathy was one of the many people who they successfully exonerated. Christopher was convicted for murder, rape, and robbery.
The Department of Justice says, "States began passing laws requiring offenders convicted of certain offenses to provide DNA samples. " That DNA evidence can help convict someone of a crime and it helps to uncover more things about the crime itself. Investigators have been using forensic science to help them solve cases since before the 90 's, mostly fingerprints that were found at the crime scenes and on the victims (O 'Brien). DNA evidence has solved countless cases including ones that happened over a prolonged period of time because of the technological advancements there is
Although many argue this experiment was unethical, Zimbardo actually changed how we perceive laws and superiority in the prison setting. An abundance of laws were introduced into federal legislation that helped advocate for people awaiting trial and even those convicted of a