Despite the growing consciousness of a flawed criminal justice system, many cannot identify with being wrongfully convicted, weakening public demand for change. Nevertheless, reforms designed to reduce miscarriages of justice take hold. The issue should not be viewed as a partisan issue but one of vital concern to all criminal justice stakeholders and the public. A leading wrongful conviction authority outlines the matter.
This research paper describes the significance and importance of wrongful conviction as a criminal justice issue, the evolution of an innocence movement to litigate on behalf of possible wrongfully convicted cons and to expose the issues surrounding the topic and research done. This is allows the justice system to use legal and psychological inquiry to define such matters. A research portfolio for the criminal justice policy scholars is proposed to examine further possible innocent and prevent such future matters from occurring. Research has been done from sociology and political science to elaborate the study of a potential policy change, interest and social movements groups offer models and methods that would give way to criminal justice
These fluctuations in criminal justice policies are not just in local governing bodies; these changes are an effort to adapt to a new technologically based modern age, and that goal of adaptation radiates to all ends of the earth, thereby having a global reach. As all societies, and populations of people alter and change, and belief systems ebb and flow, the rules and laws that govern such people must change with them. It is imperative that a governing system stay current, for without an ever-changing system of behavioral structure then those societies race faster toward
During recent studies from several researchers it has been concluded that there is a fault within our criminal justice system. Researchers discovered there is a high wrongful conviction rate within the United States judicial system. After, extensive research, it was found that wrongful convictions are caused by eyewitness error, false confessions, flawed forensic science, an informant, bad lawyering, and government misconduct. Without a doubt, this issue has shocked society, due to the fact we rely on the system for pure justice. Within my findings, it is apparent that victims of wrongful convictions suffer numerous affects when
Since 1923, when Judge Learned Hand said that the American judicial system “has always been haunted by the ghost of the innocent man convicted,” the issue of wrongful conviction has been acknowledged to man (Halstead, 1992; Huff, Rattner, Sagarin, & MacNamara, 1986). After the judge made his innocuous statements, serious study of this phenomenon began. Contrary to the statement the judge made, time and technology have revealed that an unquantifiable number of wrongfully convicted persons have served prison terms and even been executed for crimes they did not commit and some that did not even occur. Research into wrongful conviction was virtually nonexistent until Professor Edward Brochard of Yale University published his book Convicting the Innocent in 1932. This book documented 65 such cases, addressed the legal causes of miscarriage, and offered suggestions to reform. Subsequently, numerous other researchers began conducting case studies and publishing findings that affirmed that wrongful conviction represents a systematic problem within the American judicial process (Huff, 2002).
We have countless examples of dishonesty in our daily lives, media, etc. For the Common Book Assignment Just Mercy – which focuses on the tale of a talented lawyer and wrongfully imprisoned inmates – there are many examples of people manipulating the truth for their own benefit. This novel was an incredibly moving piece and opened my eyes to the crucial problems happening in the criminal justice system. Bryan Stevenson focuses the main theme of his novel on the statement, “the opposite of poverty is not wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice.” In the novel, it brings up issues such as the death penalty, racial profiling, as well as inequality and poverty to emphasize the corruption not many are aware about. From Ralph Myers, who purposefully made a scapegoat out of an innocent man, we can cite instances of dishonesty in multiple resources.
Almost every day, we hear about justice being served upon criminals and we, as a society, feel a sense of relief that another threat to the public has been sentenced to a term in prison, where they will no longer pose a risk to the world at large. However, there are very rare occasions where the integrity of the justice system gets skewed and people who should not have been convicted are made to serve heavy prison sentences. When word of this judicial misstep reaches the public, there is social outcry, and we begin to question the judicial system for committing such a serious faux pas.
In the novel, Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, the author depicts his experiences with cases that dealt with racial inequality and unfair convictions. The most prominent case in the novel is about a man named Walter McMillian who was unjustly convicted of a murder charge and sentenced to death row. Throughout the story, it is apparent that McMillian’s case was more complicated than just racial profiling because it was entangled with deception. The unlawful behavior executed by law officials: judges, lawyers, police officers, to indict Walter McMillian counteracts the basis of the system of which judicial officials should abide by. To elaborate, judicial officials should be protecting the public by representing them with the use of the law. However, they occasionally ignore or withhold evidence that would alter an outcome that they did not support. Despite the fact that judicial officers incriminate citizens through their own racial biases such as racial profiling to benefit themselves in some aspect, the pressure derived from society is another factor that ultimately plays a significant role in the outcome or punishment of convicted criminals.
The United States prides itself on having robust, deeply entrenched measures implemented across its core agencies, including the police and criminal justice system, to safeguard against wrongfully convicting people who, after further reflection, are factually found to be innocent. As citizens, we have been educated to trust, among other things, that our systems protect the notions that one is innocent until proven guilty and that prosecution must prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, wrongful convictions are more prevalent than we might think. In particular, the publicity of hundreds of cases over the last few decades has put a spotlight on this indisputable
These extreme cases of judicial misconduct are rare; but when they happen they force us to think critically about our judicial system and the important role it plays in our society. When it comes to preventing abuses
“We demand of a deterrent not whether it is just but whether it will deter. We demand of a cure not whether it is just but whether it succeeds. Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.” C.S. Lewis
A prosecutor looking for real justice, Adam Foss demonstrates just how effective rhetorical devices can be to persuade a population to defend the rights of others. When telling the story of how people end up in the criminal justice system, Foss tells “Even in our ‘worst.’ I saw...childhood trauma, victimization, poverty...interaction with the police…”(3:24) Many people tend to see people convicted of crimes as inhuman or lesser than us. However, Foss begins to humanize them. Moreover, he states that the reason these people commit crimes isn’t because of some violent, unfathomable reason, but rather because of their rough experiences earlier in life. To fix crime, people must step up and fix issues that cause crime, not throw people into a broken
Bogira effectively shows how a lack of ethics in the criminal justice system leads to an anti-defendant bias and an immense miscarriage of justice. The books tells the stories of several defendants- from bond hearings to sentencing- that have been in the courtroom of local Judge Daniel Locallo. Locallo is a great indicator of the contradictions that take place in Courtroom 302. Locallo is a strong advocate of free choice when it comes to defendants taking the stance that poverty, abuse, etc. are no excuse for committing a crime. However, he defends is Uncle Victor stating, “He didn’t freely choose to take the low road, there were circumstances that compelled his illicit career” (Bogira, 155). Locallo is not abiding by the ethics of the court system to ensure that justice is carried out fairly. Another example of how ethics were ignored in Courtroom 302 was the fact that there were several coerced confessions from defendants. “If a defendant happened to have sustained observable injuries, police explained them away in court with one of their stock excuses: he fell down stairs while being arrested; his cellmates beat him up; he rolled off the bench in the lockup; he banged his head on the cell door as he
Introduction: In today's societies, the government and criminal justice systems very much related to ethics because they both establish and carry out definite rights and duties. They also attempt to prevent and/or hold anyone accountable that deviates from these standards. (Wright 2012)
In Stephen Bright’s article, “The Death Penalty as the Answer to Crime: Costly, Counterproductive, and Corrupting” Bright asserts that capital punishment does not work because it is racially biased, the quality of the lawyers and attorneys supplied by the state to poor defendants is unfair, and that the law system currently in place does not accomplish its true goals. Bright defends his claim with logos and ethos by examining the opinions of judges and district attorneys, and by describing experience within the fields of human rights and law himself in order to persuade the reader to take up more cases for those on death row. Given the language used in this article Bright is writing to an audience with intermediate to professional experience within the field of law, and a willingness to adopt a new idea on the constitutionality behind the death penalty.