The purpose of the judicial arm of the government is to ensure that justice is upheld, it is not about money, votes or popularity. Though it seems that wrongful convictions are doled out for any number of reasons and innocence ignored even when blatantly obvious. Often times wrongful convictions result in the wrongful conviction and wrongful imprisonment of an innocent person. Even when there is exuberant false evidence, wrongful convictions occur. Often times technology, such as that in dna exoneration cases is not allowed, despite the fact that there have been over 300 documented dna exoneration cases. Wrongful convictions are just plain wrong for a number of reasons – they rob people, the falsely convicted, the family and friends of the wrongfully convicted as well as the public as a whole for the costs and losses incurred through such convictions. A college report, that resulted in the first national registry of exonerated people, the report found that ‘More than 2,000 people have been exonerated of serious crimes since 1989′
Wrongful conviction cases seem to proliferate throughout society in numerous ways and for numerous reasons – misidentification by ‘eyewitesses’ play a role in approximately 75% of convictions overturned by DNA testing – one study found misidentification to be the ‘most important factor leading to wrongful convictions’ – the to wrongful convictions by the prosecution, wrongful convictions as a result of police misconduct. Reports estimate that approximately 10,000 innocent peopleare possibly convicted of serious crimes each year. ‘
‘The results are based on a survey of 188 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs and police chiefs in Ohio and 41 state attorneys general.’ Does the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) encourage wrongful convictions? Possibly so. Supreme Court Firms Up State Immunity From Wrongful Conviction Lawsuits.
The records show that wrongful convictions are not only possible, they do happen and once convicted the system seems hell-bent on keeping both the guilty and the innocent in prison, even when there is blatant supporting evidence indicating exoneration or a retrial is prudent. Consider these cases:
David Dark Horse Croft – ‘who in 1983 was coerced into pleading guilty to first degree murder of Penny Faulkner. At the time, David was 17 years old and had no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket.’
Jimmy Dennis - ‘After several months of thoroughly studying his case, collecting and reading the documents (including police statements, the trial transcript, and appeal brief), we- an international volunteer group of supporters- have concluded that the facts in this case fully support his innocence’
Kimberly McCarthy – ‘Kimberly suffered from a severe addiction to crack cocaine in the 1990′s, and her life went into a downward spiral, into the underworld of drugs. Her association with the wrong people coupled with her out of control drug use became a lethal combination which led to tragedy. Prior to her drug use Kimberly had no criminal record and was in the field of helping and healing the sick as an occupational therapist!‘
The prisons hold countless individuals who are innocent, statistics show it – approximately 10,000 people a year. Either directly, or indirectly such miscarriages of justice, for whatever reason has an impact on each and everyone of us. Change is necessary to lessen, even eliminate wrongful convictions – but there is only one way such change will come to be – if YOU are aware of such wrongful convictions and YOU take actions to rectify them, such as viewing and signing the petitions above (and others), Write your legislature about your concerns of wrongful convictions. After all, wrongful convictions all ready effect you in some way. Statistics show that over 2000 persons were exonerated for wrongful convictions of serious crimes – how many were convicted of wrongful convictions that have not been exonerated?