Wrongful Convictions

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Near Misses and Wrongful Convictions Erroneous convictions are a terrible injustice to those convicted and have the potential to deteriorate the public’s trust in the criminal justice system. An in-depth study was conducted by the National Institute of Justice and discussed by Dr. Jon Gould and John R. Firman during the presentation, “Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research and Implications for Law Enforcement”. This study attempts to discover why some cases arrive into the system are near misses—this is an innocent person cleared or acquitted of all charges based on factual evidence—and other cases arrive into the system a different way become wrongful convictions, which these people are also factually innocent, it was just…show more content…
Acquiring information on the entire population or using probability sampling would obviously not be appropriate for this extremely specific study, so a nonprobability purposive sample was selected for analysis. There were 200 near misses and 260 erroneous conviction cases located for analysis in this study (National Institute of Justice, 2013). Additionally, the defendants had to be 1) convicted or indicted by a state; 2) of a violent felony against a person; 3) in the system after 1980; and 4) factually innocent (National Institute of Justice, 2013). As identified by Dr. Gould, there was a chance of underreporting, however, ensuring the data group was factually innocent was essential to construct variables and explanations to explicate why some cases are near misses versus wrongful…show more content…
The study recommended the following actions to prevent wrongful convictions: checklists to conduct investigations; ensure forensic testing completed early in an investigation; embed a prosecutor in a police department; assign senior prosecutors for intake and charging; ensure files are open for discovery; establish a threshold for line-ups; post-error review; and providing immunity to those who self-identify errors in their report (National Institute of Justice, 2013). Law enforcement agencies must evaluate what needs to be done to incorporate these actions into their operations and develop policy to reinforce these

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