Convicting The Innocent

Author: Brandon Garrett
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674060989
Size: 30.12 MB
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DNA exonerations have shattered confidence in the criminal justice system by exposing how often we have convicted the innocent and let the guilty walk free. In this unsettling analysis, Garrett examines what went wrong in the cases of the first 250 people exonerated by DNA testing, and proposes systemic reforms.

Wrongful Convictions And The Dna Revolution

Author: Daniel S. Medwed
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107129966
Size: 61.67 MB
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This book examines the lessons learned from twenty-five years of using DNA to free innocent prisoners and identifies lingering challenges.

Blind Injustice

Author: Mark Godsey
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN: 0520305639
Size: 48.98 MB
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In this unprecedented view from the trenches, prosecutor turned champion for the innocent Mark Godsey takes us inside the frailties of the human mind as they unfold in real-world wrongful convictions. Drawing upon stories from his own career, Godsey shares how innate psychological flaws in judges, police, lawyers, and juries coupled with a “tough on crime” environment can cause investigations to go awry, leading to the convictions of innocent people. In Blind Injustice, Godsey explores distinct psychological human weaknesses inherent in the criminal justice system—confirmation bias, memory malleability, cognitive dissonance, bureaucratic denial, dehumanization, and others—and illustrates each with stories from his time as a hard-nosed prosecutor and then as an attorney for the Ohio Innocence Project. He also lays bare the criminal justice system’s internal political pressures. How does the fact that judges, sheriffs, and prosecutors are elected officials influence how they view cases? How can defense attorneys support clients when many are overworked and underpaid? And how do juries overcome bias leading them to believe that police and expert witnesses know more than they do about what evidence means? This book sheds a harsh light on the unintentional yet routine injustices committed by those charged with upholding justice. Yet in the end, Godsey recommends structural, procedural, and attitudinal changes aimed at restoring justice to the criminal justice system.

Wrongful Convictions In China

Author: Na Jiang
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 366246084X
Size: 73.20 MB
Format: PDF
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The primary focus of this comparative and empirical work is to address wrongful convictions between China and common-law countries in order to promote a better understanding of wrongful convictions in China’s practice with the help of comparative analyses, verifiable and empirical data and case studies. It examines the scope of wrongful convictions and offers new insights into the worldwide movement to prevent them, assesses how far it has progressed and what reforms are most needed. The book suggests that adversarial and inquisitorial systems alike could benefit from this research and learn valuable lessons from one another on how to effectively reduce the risk of wrongful convictions.

In Doubt

Author: Dan Simon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674065115
Size: 60.31 MB
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Criminal justice is unavoidably human. Detectives, witnesses, suspects, and victims shape investigations; prosecutors, defense attorneys, jurors, and judges affect the outcome of adjudication. Simon shows how flawed investigations produce erroneous evidence and why well-meaning juries send innocent people to prison and set the guilty free.

Wrongful Convictions And Miscarriages Of Justice

Author: C. Ronald Huff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415539935
Size: 72.62 MB
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This innovative work builds on Huff and Killiase(tm) earlier publication (2008), but is broader and more thoroughly comparative in a number of important ways:ee (1) while focusing heavily on wrongful convictions, it places the subject of wrongful convictions in the broader contextual framework of miscarriages of justice and provides discussions of different types of miscarriages of justice that have not previously received much scholarly attention by criminologists; (2) it addresses, in much greater detail, the questions of how, and how often, wrongful convictions occur; (3) it provides more in-depth consideration of the role of forensic science in helping produce wrongful convictions and in helping free those who have been wrongfully convicted; (4) it offers new insights into the origins and current progress of the innocence movement, as well as the challenges that await the exonerated when they return to "free" society; (5) it assesses the impact of the use of alternatives to trials (especially plea bargains in the U.S. and summary proceedings and penal orders in Europe) in producing wrongful convictions; (6) it considers how the U.S. and Canada have responded to 9/11 and the increased threat of terrorism by enacting legislation and adopting policies that may exacerbate the problem of wrongful conviction; and (7) it provides in-depth considerations of two topics related to wrongful conviction:ee voluntary false confessions and convictions which, although technically not wrongful since they are based on law violations, represent another type of miscarriage of justice since they are due solely to unjust laws resulting from political repression.ee

False Justice

Author: Jim Petro
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781138782990
Size: 38.13 MB
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Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses. Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence. In fact, guilt is usually clear and undisputed either because the criminal was caught in the act, left substantial evidence, or made the decision to take a plea. While taking a plea does not assure guilt, often a combination of the above reveals the soundness of the defendant's decision to plead rather than go to trial. Lauren McGarity, a mediator, conflict resolution expert, and educator who has worked with hundreds of Ohio inmates for ten years, dispelled this myth for us in False Justice. Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. We mined and share the research and opinion of both conservatives and liberals, and we have concluded that the 311 persons exonerated of serious felonies to date, December 12, 2013, by DNA technology (which was first employed in criminal forensics in the U.S. in the late 1980s) must be the tip of the iceberg, a phrase commonly mentioned in our research. Following the Elkins experience, Nancy and I suspected a substantial number of innocent people in our prisons, but our research required that we frequently revise our thinking upward. Estimates have ranged from, conservatively, about one thousand to as many as tens of thousands of innocent people in American prisons today. We believe -- and research and logic suggest -- that our system convicts innocent persons far more frequently than most imagine and that most Americans, if more fully informed, would consider this a national travesty. Myth 3: Only the guilty confess. Stephen Boorn confessed to a murder in Manchester, Vermont, even though there was no trace of evidence, including a body. Boorn is not alone. False Justice explores what prompted Christopher Ochoa and others falsely accused of murder to incriminate themselves. We explore why the Miranda warning failed in these cases to provide intended protections. Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error. As chief legal officer of Ohio, I supervised a staff of 1,250, including 350 lawyers, who managed more than 35,000 active legal cases at a time. Yet I was totally unaware of the extent of wrongful criminal conviction, and was disappointed to learn that misconduct by police and prosecutors has contributed to many wrong verdicts. In the first edition of False Justice we noted that official misconduct was identified early as a contributor in DNA-proven wrongful convictions. Prosecutorial misconduct was a factor in thirty-three of the first seventy-four DNA exonerations (44.6 percent) and police misconduct was present in thirty-seven, or exactly half of those cases.3 Subsequent exonerations have supported the finding that official misconduct is a significant contributor to wrongful conviction. The National Registry of Exonerations reports at this writing (Dec. 14, 2013) 564 known cases of official misconduct--both police and prosecutor and in some cases both--in its universe of 1,262 exonerations, or in 44.6 percent of known exonerations since 1989.4 This book challenges thinking on what tactics should and should not be dismissed as "human error." Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony. Mistaken eyewitness testimony, a contributor in 75 percent of wrongful convictions, was the prevailing contributor to wrongful conviction in the cases of Elkins, Green, Gillispie, and others included in the book. False Justice shares highlights of what we now know about memory and how this has shaped legislative and procedural reforms that will enable more accurate capture of eyewitness testimony. Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. The long, difficult, and expensive struggle to reverse a conviction is demonstrated in the Boorn, Elkins, Green, and Gillispie cases. Our appeals process addresses only certain errors that may have occurred in preparation of the case or in the courtroom. Post-conviction relief is difficult to attain in a system that properly seeks finality in the criminal process. The other route to correcting a conviction error is through new evidence, which, as indicated in Elkins and Gillispie, must meet specific requirements that are very difficult to achieve. Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. False Justice reveals that, contrary to a popular opinion, only a minority of convicted persons claim innocence and represent cases that are worthy of post-conviction DNA analysis. Prosecutors who oppose access to post-conviction DNA evidence, which could conclusively prove guilt or innocence, frequently claim that this would dishonor the victim. Public safety requires that we abandon this myth, or understand that by allowing the real perpetrators to escape justice, we contribute to an increase in crime and victims. How does that honor victims? Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them. While most men and women who work in the criminal justice system are well meaning, committed, and deserving of our respect, they typically do not have the authority, resources, perspective, time, or inclination to change the system. False Justice recommends reforms achieved through legislation, policy, and court opinion. However, these will not occur with any urgency until conventional wisdom catches up with the truths revealed in this DNA age. Therefore, it will take us -- everyday American citizens -- not the pros, to accelerate this process. By abandoning myths and advocating reforms, we will not only reduce the destruction that comes with wrongful conviction but will also make the United States safer.

Innocent

Author: Scott Christianson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 081471675X
Size: 52.26 MB
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Innocent graphically documents forty-two recent criminal cases to find evidence of shocking miscarriages of justice, especially in murder cases. Based upon interviews with more than 200 people and reviews of hundreds internal case files, court records, smoking-gun memoranda, and other documents, Scott Christianson gets inside the legal cases, revealing the mistakes, abuses, and underlying factors that led to miscarriages of justice, while also describing how determined prisoners, post-conviction attorneys, advocates, and journalists struggle against tremendous odds to try to win their exonerations. The result is a powerful work that recounts the human costs of a criminal justice system gone awry, and shows us how wrongful convictions can—and do—happen everywhere.