The Innocent Killer discusses the troubling life of Steven Avery, a wrongfully convicted man from Manitowoc county Wisconsin. This book depicts how the criminal justice system can be unfair and shows in what ways it was corrupted.
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.
Joshua Marquis is neither a scholar, a jurist, or a crusader for the wrongly accused. Instead he has spent most of his time as a prosecutor. His essay is written from a personal point of view where he supports the death penalty; however, his essay is unlike the average supporter. Joshua Marquis believes capital punishment should be decided based on the following: each case on its own, within its own context, using the specific facts of the case, considering the community where the crime occurred and the background of the defendants. With that being said, Marquis believes that for certain cases the death penalty is appropriate. In fact, in 1991 and again in 1997 he stood before the jury and ask them to impose the death penalty.
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.
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.
The Fourth Amendment was created in response to the British practice of issuing a general warrant—warrants that were not limited in scope. The ultimate check that the Amendment places on law enforcement is one of “reasonableness.” This creates two broad categories of searches: searches that would be unreasonable without a warrant and searches that do not require a warrant. For example, warrants are not relevant in the context of school administration. However, warrants have historically always been required in the course of ordinary law enforcement.” Searches have generally always required warrants, but over time the Court created exceptions.
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
It is a great technological innovation that can help bring evidences and fact faster. In the article The DNA Wars Are Over, “Forensic use of DNA technology in criminal cases began in 1986…In one of the first uses of DNA in a criminal case in the United States, in November 1987.” Sadly in 1985, DNA testing was not popular in the U.S. investigation and was not available in Cole’s case. I believe the U.S. court system is improving and yes there are a lot mistrials and wrongful conviction cases, but you cannot avoid the fact that DNA testing can bring better truth than just relying on statements of both
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
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 evidence increased his punishment from a few years in jail to a life sentence. One famous use of DNA analysis to prove the innocence of a wrongfully convicted person in the United States involved the 1981 conviction of Robert Clark for several serious crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery. Despite receiving two life sentences, Clark insisted he had not committed the crimes. In 2003, after more than two decades in prison, Clark began trying to obtain a court order to allow him to undergo DNA testing that would either connect him with the crime or prove his innocence. Two years later he was exonerated and set
The Innocence Project was founded by American lawyers, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld in 1992. The project itself was established in the aftermath of a study conducted at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that listed incorrect eyewitness identification as the main factor in wrongful convictions. Through their work with rapid advances in technology, scientific testing, and genetic testing, the Innocence project has assisted in exonerating three-hundred and fifty-one (as of July 2017) convicted felons of serious crimes. This number includes twenty individuals who were serving time on death row. Many of The Innocence Projects exonerations are due to DNA evidence that was taken from the crime scene, however, the technology did not exist at the time to place the individual with as much accuracy as we have today. An example of this would be early convictions based off of blood typing, or similar hair analysis. Now DNA testing along with genetic markers can be observed with an accuracy rate of 99.9%. The Innocence Project receives approximately 3000 requests from prisoners annually for help. After an extensive screening of the case, it is decided whether the case will move forward to the next step. Of all the cases The Innocence Project had approved for assistance, 43% have been found to be innocent, while 42% further confirmed
The Innocence Project referred by many as “freedom fighters” is an organization known for its mission to free and help many innocent individuals who remain incarcerated for wrongful convictions. Factors including false confessions, eyewitness misidentification, and flawed technology for forensic testing are some components that contributed to wrongful imprisonments in the past. However, through the use of DNA testing the Innocence Project has brought reform to the criminal justice system and effectiveness. “To date, 351 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row” (qtd. Innocence project).
In the United States, the death penalty and the question of executing innocent people has become a fundamental topic of discussion. Jay D. Aronson and Simon A. Cole propose that, “due to the certainty attached to DNA evidence in public discourse, it can be used as a lever with which to challenge law’s claims to truth-making authority, and to undermine public trust in the death penalty” (Aronson and Cole 603). Shlomit Avraham maintains that “the success of obtaining DNA profiles from touch DNA has opened up possibilities and led to the collection of DNA from a wider range of exhibits” (Avraham 793). How many people have been released or imprisoned due to faulty accusations? Where are DNA samples found, and what is it? If there’s no blood at
The increasing use of the DNA testing technology and the technology getting more and more advanced, a number of cases of wrongful conviction have been resolved and the innocent victims have been freed from incarceration (www.innocenceproject.org). The study by Scheck et al., (2000) depicted that among a pool of 2000 prisoners around 62 victims were released using the evidence from DNA testing and across these 62 cases, 15 (24%) involved the instances of false confessions. As the project continued the number of exonerated innocent prisoners rose to 188 by 2006, December with 45 cases of wrongful convictions arising due false confessions again (www.innocenceproject.org).