Wrongful Conviction In The Criminal Justice System

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Wrongful Convictions The criminal justice system exists for individuals to express their right to due process. However, even the criminal justice system has flaws. Wrongful convictions do occur and statistics show that as much as .5% - 1% of all convictions are wrongful. (Zalman, 2017) The past system, especially prior to DNA evidence testing, was harsh and very one-sided. So why do wrongful convictions occur? Witness misidentification makes up for most known wrongful convictions. Evidence shows that in approximately 75% of all wrongful convictions, erroneous eyewitness identifications play a key role. (Thompson, 2009) Multiple issues factor into why an eyewitness may misidentify a suspect. The psychological stress of a critical incident may play a role that alters an individual 's perception of an event. The suggestiveness of the identification procedure also factors in. Whether it be in photographs or lineups, officers may attempt to make the suspect stand out from others. For example in a lineup, the suspect may be the only person presented that of weight, hair color, or race. This case of mistaken identity may alter the witness’ recollection of the actual culprit, replacing them with the “suggested suspect”. Guidelines have since been written and adopted nationwide to help combat this issue. For example, showing photographs or presenting individuals in lineups one at a time rather than simultaneously. False confessions due to interrogation pressures, as well as

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