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Wrongful Convictions in Law

There are numerous reasons for wrongful convictions. Some of the most common are ineffectiveness of counsel, eyewitness or victim misidentifications, police errors, lost or tainted forensic evidences, and prosecutorial errors or misconduct.

- What are some of the ways to lower the number of wrongful convictions?
- Do you agree or disagree that establishing commissions to review and investigate wrongful convictions can help in lowering their number? Why or why not?
- In your opinion, should those who are wrongfully convicted be compensated for their time in prison? If no, why? If yes, who should pay them?

Solution Preview

Some of the ways that wrongful convictions can be lowered are by:
1. Access to post-conviction testing - Reserving evidence and allowing testing to be done even after conviction can help prove innocence. It should not matter if the person confessed to the crime. Whether we want to admit it, some people will plead even if they are not guilty to avoid a lengthy trial or because of coercion.
2. Eyewitness identification reforms - People can mistake identities and there needs to be some type of precautions taken during "line-ups". One such case in mistaken identity is the Joseph Abbitt case from North Carolina in 1991. Two teens were raped by an intruder and ...

Solution Summary

This posting details some ways to lower conviction rates, establishing commissions for wrongful convictions and compensation for prisoners who are wrongfully convicted.