1 page of how you know something is credible or not when talking about evidence in the courtroom In the courtroom a lie can send someone to their death. With this in mind it is very important that a jury member can identify whether a witness, or piece of evidence is credible. Many instances of bad evidence or false witnesses have been recorded in the history of law, so we must make an effort so that no more people get charged for crimes they did not commit. It may come to surprise many people that a witness testimony might not always be accurate. There are are many reasons for this as witnesses may “change”their memory when they are revealed new information about the crime.
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. An often-cited example of when the memory of an eyewitness has failed to serve justice is the case of Ronald Cotton.
The federal government is typically responsible for cases involving high-ranking traffickers; however, the state government must have more involvement in this matter to extract all traffickers from society. The Department of Justice, namely the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), did a survey to analyze the effectiveness of state legislations relating to Trafficking in Persons (TIP). They found that "eighty percent of the prosecutors indicated that their state had anti-TIP legislation, yet only 20 percent indicated that the state legislation has helped with the prosecution of TIP cases" (NCJRS). This shows that states are not enforcing their legislations with enough force, allowing traffickers to avoid harsh punishments and continue their practices. In Criminal and Civil Confinement, Rebecca Caroll Sager notes this dilemma and writes that "smaller sex trafficking rings will remain undetected [and] the majority of traffickers will remain unprosecuted and at large."
The Innocence Project usually represents convicted prisoners seeking a post-conviction DNA testing attempting prove their innocence. They also consult many of cases on appeal where the defendant is represented by primary counsel and they provide information and background on DNA testing litigation. As of now 351 people in the United States have been proven innocent by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row. The Innocence Project’s use of DNA technology to prove peoples innocense has provided indisputable proof that wrongful convictions are not rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. This is a non biased source because the innocence project has nothing to gain by freeing the wrongfully convicted and mainly takes about sources.”The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases.” this quote shows that The Innocence Project takes thier work very serious and is
False Confessions One of the biggest problems that our criminal justice system is facing is false confessions, whether they are coerced or done for attention. In an article written by the Innocence Project, it states "More than 1 out of every 4 people wrongfully convicted but later exonerated by DNA evidence made a false confession or incriminating statement."(1). What would lead someone to open their lives to judgment and persecution, by confessing to a crime that they didn 't commit? There are many possible reasons, ranging from duress, ignorance when it comes to community laws, and mental impairment. Some individuals also don 't have the mental capacity to understand just what they are admitting to, and the training for interrogations
First, the factor that leading innocent people be charged is flawed eyewitness identification. Eyewitness is one of principal evidences that policies are looking because someone has knowledge about the crime. A study of contributing causes of wrongful convictions show us that 72% are eyewitness because of misidentification ( The causes of wrongful conviction, 1). This study demonstrated that eyewitness is the highest in wrongful convictions. For example, in the documentary Mr Stephens was the eyewitness which, it is the strong evidence that Detective Williams used against Butler.
As explained, subjective bias is a critical risk when considering the evidence in the court. Thus, there is a possibility of subjective bias if forensic scientists are embedded with police institutes. As an example, police organizational culture with the hierarchy has the potential power to eliminate or suppress unfavorable evidences. However, on the other hand, if forensic scientists are independent, there is also possibility of scientists working in favor of their clients’ interest. Therefore, it is an important aspect to consider about how to operate this forensic scientists in fair manner that can favor both police and defendants.
The show-up method is the least effective at correctly identifying suspects. They present suspects to witnesses, whilst in police custody. In addition, the time taken can drastically increase the rate of misidentifications. Therefore, they are not how eyewitness testimonies should be conducted. In the simultaneous line-up, witnesses overestimate their ability to make an identification, resulting in misidentifications.
Falsely confessing to a crime puts consequences on the wrong individual and creates issues within police agencies. There are estimates that false confessions include 5-12% of all confessions. A false confession is when someone admits guilt to a crime that they did not commit. Although confessions are considered valuable as evidence in court, there are factors that can impact the accuracy of confessions, such as one 's mental, physical, and emotional state. There are multiple reasons one may falsely confess; Three of these reasons are: a promise of a lighter sentence, feeling one is protecting others by confessing, and admitting to a crime due to exhaustion.
His observations showed that criminals had certain physical features which included masculine jaws and sloping foreheads. Despite taking a more analytical approach his reasoning was flawed because of his improper methodology. In most research in our present time, scientists test a hypothesis with experimentation. Some experimentation involves trials with people. In these trials participants are split into groups so that scientists can see the effects of what they are testing by introducing a factor to one group while the other group is not introduced, so scientists have a reference to how the groups will differ.
Statement of the Problem DNA has become a vital part of criminal investigations. DNA can include and exclude suspects of criminal investigations. During a criminal investigation, all DNA should be collected, properly preserved and tested, but at times this does not occur or the technology was not available for this process to occur. In addition, DNA has become an imperative portion of exoneration cases. 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.
The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Prior to DNA testing there were hundreds of wrongful convictions. Post DNA testing there has been a decrease in wrongful convictions, but they are still prevalent for various reasons including eye witness misidentification, improper forensic science, and incriminating statements. Regardless of the reason, wrongful convictions remove a part
The Innocence Project lists six primary causes of wrongful convictions exonerated by DNA evidence. The causes are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated or improper forensic science, false confessions or admissions, government misconduct, informants, and inadequate defense. The leading cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA evidence is eyewitness misidentification. Eyewitness misidentification was a factor in more than 70% of convictions whose rulings were reversed due to DNA testing nationwide. Throughout history, the reliability of eyewitness identification has been questioned.
The law on double jeopardy has a 1“legal heritage of 800 years”. It has been under criticism in recent years as guilty criminals can get away with crimes from a technicality in the justice system. This law stops the retrial of accused criminals who in their trials were proven guilty. I personally disagree with the current double jeopardy laws and believe that changes need to be implemented in the current law to make them more just. The case of Raymond John Carroll is spread over decades and as it developed more witnesses came forward and better technology also developed.
Questions While reading this article, various questions arose in my mind. For one, if it was known that the FBI standards for hair evidence was not as accurate for roughly a few decades, why blame and admit someone into prison based on alleged evidence from one single hair? I wonder how many more cases like Phillip’s are out there in which people were wrongfully accused due to inaccurate testing of physical evidence? Is there any new technology that has significantly improved the credibility of hair analysis? (if so, what are they?)