Injustices of the Justice System

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Injustices of the Justice System

Today’s justice system is broken and flawed, with a history of falsely convicting innocent people due to a variety of things, including eyewitness misidentification, invalid or improper forensic testing, and even racial bias on the jury. Many wrongful convictions happen as a result of a combination of these things, and other causes can contribute in each individual case (“causes”). Countless people throughout history have been punished for crimes they did not commit, and with recent advancements in DNA testing bringing about hundreds of exonerations of the wrongfully convicted, one has to wonder how many innocents have languished in prisons throughout history. With all the flaws and potential for error
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Bernard Webster was a victim of racial misidentification when in 1982 a schoolteacher was raped in her own home by a black stranger and identified Webster as her attacker in a photo lineup. Other residents of her apartment complex also picked him out of the lineup. In 1983 he was convicted guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but he maintained his innocence and sought aid in proving his innocence, which was impossible until DNA testing came about. The examination of slides from the hospital where the victim was treated 20 years prior proved Bernard Webster’s innocence, and he was exonerated two thirds into his sentence (“Mid-Atlantic”). Unfortunately, many more innocent people have been wrongfully imprisoned because of their race, be it due to blatant racism or just cross-racial misidentification, and our current Justice System does little to stop this from happening.
Governmental reforms to change the flaws in our system that let innocent people be charged for the crimes of others are possible. There are 11 states that have formed Criminal Justice Reform Commissions. These “Innocence Commissions,” work to bring about reforms conducive to a more just justice system by examining the cases of people wrongfully convicted, identifying the causes of the wrongful conviction, and understanding what it will take to prevent it from happening again. In
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